Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CPP poll tactics criticized

CPP poll tactics criticized

CPP poll tactics criticized

The UN Office for Human Rights has criticized the ruling CPP for using government

machinery to conduct opinion polls to boost its image ahead of the elections.

In a statement issued on August 2, special representative Peter Leuprecht said commune

and police officials should not be involved in political activities.

As a part of its election strategy the CPP has enlisted the services of commune and

police officials to revive its network down to the village level.

"Their involvement is not only contrary to the conduct of free and fair commune

elections, but also violates [commune election] law," Leuprecht stated.

Article 129 of the law stipulates that government institutions should maintain neutrality

and impartiality and should not carry out any activity in support of any political

party or its candidates.

"We have confirmation that it has been going on in Phnom Penh since May,"

a senior observer at the UN Cambodia Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

(UNCOHCHR) told the Post.

"It's very important that the government separates its duties [of serving the

interests of all Cambodians] and its party activities, otherwise the politicization

of the government and society will be perpetuated," the observer said.

To ascertain which candidates stood a better chance of public acceptance, government

officials approached members of the public in Phnom Penh and elsewhere with a list

of names and photographs of 22 CPP members, along with their education and position

in the party. People were asked to choose the 11 they would like to see as their

commune leaders.

While the opinion poll per se is not unusual - Funcinpec is apparently planning a

similar exercise - the use of government machinery is against commune election law.

The UN office said its investigation had found that the exercise was still going

on, despite assurances to the contrary in June.

At that time the CPP defended itself saying that officials only undertook weekend

polling activities in plainclothes. The UN observer said that it was not a matter

of when polling was done; rather the problem was that authority figures were involved.

However, Dr Lao Mong Hay, executive director of the Khmer Institute of Democracy,

doubted the exercise, known as mock elections, was illegal.

"It falls in a gray area. The party justifies the exercise on the grounds that

these officials also happen to be their members."

Meanwhile, Leuprecht expressed concern that recent incidents of political threats

and violence might impact the electoral process.

Referring specifically to the recent killings of two candidates, Leuprecht said fear

of violence might prevent people from fully exercising their right to vote.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Angkor Beer, 30 Years of Prestige and Still Counting

    Let’s celebrate 30 years of prestige with Angkor Beer. In this 2022, Angkor Beer is 30 years old and has been staying with Cambodian hearts in all circumstances. Head of core beer portfolio, EmYuthousaid, “We have been with Cambodians for three decades now. We, ANGKOR Beer, pride

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,