Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP alleges soldier-only poll stations

CNRP alleges soldier-only poll stations

CNRP alleges soldier-only poll stations

Troops from the elite 911 Paratrooper Brigade have been registered at “soldier only” polling stations near their Phnom Penh bases, according to opposition commune candidates running in the communes, claims seemingly backed up by data from the voter list.

In an arrangement that one election monitor said would erode the troops’ collective anonymity and right to a secret vote, four stations in the capital’s Kambol commune were off-limits to all but 911 soldiers and their families, said Prak Seyha, the CNRP’s commune chief candidate in the commune.

“There are about 2,000 soldiers from 911 registered here In four voting stations, all of them are soldiers; ordinary citizens were not allowed to register there,” Seyha said.

According to the voter list compiled by the NEC last year, four stations in the commune, which encompasses the unit’s base, have the highest gender imbalance in the country.

At stations 1764, 1765 and 1766, more than 96 percent of the voters are men. At station 1763, 90 percent of voters are women. One of the units stationed in Kambol is all-female.

In an interview this week, Lieutenant General Chap Pheakdey, commander of the 911 unit, said his soldiers were registered near their base, but denied they had been concentrated at single stations.

“It is not only at one place,” said Pheakdey, a member of the ruling CPP’s central committee. “There are many bases, so where they are based, they will vote at the location.”

Meanwhile, in nearby Choam Chao III commune, Va Savoeun, a CNRP candidate for the commune, said a similar arrangement existed for troops from Brigade 70. According to voter list data, there are three stations there where about 70 percent of the voters are male.

Sam Kuntheamy, of election watchdog Nicfec, said soldier-only stations would compromise the soldiers’ right to a secret vote, and make them “easy to control”.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,