Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Council upholds verdict on finger flying Battambang CNRP

Council upholds verdict on finger flying Battambang CNRP

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Constitutional Council holds a meeting last year on amendments to election laws. Pha Lina

Council upholds verdict on finger flying Battambang CNRP

THE Constitutional Council has upheld the National Election Committee (NEC) trial council’s verdict to impose fines of five million riel ($1,200) each on two former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) members and to punish another with a 10 million riel fine.

Constitutional Council president Im Chhun Lim who presided as chairman of the panel which heard the case yesterday, announced the decision against the three defendants who challenged the August 8 decision relating to the “Clean Finger Campaign” in Battambang province.

Lim said the council upheld the NEC’s decision of August 8, as “the decree was final, decisive, and effective. To enforce all the powers provided for in the Constitution and to be published in the civil service”.

The five accused were Chea Chiv, Thorng Saroeun, Mang Chhun, Pov Taing and Kruy Kim Saing.

The trial council ordered Chiv to pay 10 million riel, while Saroeun and Saing were told to pay a lesser amount of five million each. However, Chhun and Taing escaped punishment.

Chea Chiv is the former CNRP executive commander in Battambang and one of the 118 officials banned from political activity by the Supreme Court in November last year.

Unhappy with the decision, the three members then took their plight to the Constitutional Council.Sam Sokong, a lawyer representing the three accused, said the decision was “extremely unjust” for his clients because they had no intention of preventing anyone from voting.

In July, the Battambang Provincial Election Committee (PEC) had ordered the five court dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) members to pay 10 million riel for “prohibiting people from voting”.

‘Ordinary citizens’

The accusation was based on a complaint filed by Piv Hoy, the second deputy commune chief from the Cambodian People’s Party, in Anlong Vel commune, Sangke district.

All the accused filed a reply to the NEC and sought leniency, and last Wednesday the trial council passed its judgment.

Soun Chamroeun, a representative of the three accused, said that it was extremely unfair that the Constitutional Council decided to defend the NEC’s decision because the accused were ordinary citizens and not politicians.

They did not influence the election process and did nothing illegal.

However, Ham Mony, the plaintiff‘s lawyer, said raising the finger was a symbol of the Clean Finger Campaign, similar to the “Sleep Home and Win” campaign, which had a political motive.

He also said raising the finger meant the five had participated in a campaign to incite people to boycott the national elections.

This was a political campaign promoted by the former CNRP, which urged its ex-members to boycott the July 29 national elections. They had also claimed the elections were faked.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia to waive quarantine requirements Nov 15, no PCR test required

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to lift all quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers and visitors – both Cambodians and foreign nationals – effective from November 15 onward. In a special message addressed to officials and relevant authorities on November 14, Hun Sen said this policy will enable

  • PM: No more quarantine for vaccinated travellers

    Cambodia is lifting all quarantine requirements for vaccinated inbound travellers entering Cambodia by air, waterway or land border checkpoints effective from November 15. Travellers will be required to take a rapid antigen test on arrival rather than waiting for the results of the lengthier polymerase chain

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration