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Death threats alleged in Election Day’s wake

Protesters prevent Vietnamese people from voting in Sa’ang district.
Protesters prevent Vietnamese people from voting in Sa’ang district. RANN RUEY

Death threats alleged in Election Day’s wake

Cambodia National Rescue Party supporters in two provinces have alleged death threats from local ruling party officials, including a CPP working group chief and a commune police chief, since Sunday’s election.

Two days after the Cambodian People’s Party announced the CNRP had gained 22 seats in the National Assembly, two brothers fled their home in Kandal province’s Kien Svay district following what Ol Sokleng, 27, described as a run-in with a menacing mob of CPP youth.

“My brother escaped [the mob] on Monday, and I fled my home on Tuesday after about 10 people from the CPP threatened to kill us,” Sokleng said.

Ol Chandeoun, Sokleng’s 30-year-old brother, angered local CPP members on Sunday when he prevented Ngor Sovann, chief of Kokithom commune’s CPP working group, from walking from one voting booth to another in what he believed to be an attempt to vote multiple times, Sokleng said.

The following night, the group of CPP supporters, including Sovann, came to the family’s home, looking for Chandeoun, Sokleng said. When Sokleng and his parents refused to tell them where they could find Chandeoun, they turned their wrath onto his family, Sokleng said.

“A man took a gun and pointed it at me,” Sokleng said. “They left saying that they would kill me and my family members.”

Since the brothers fled their home, their mother, Kol Ran, 51, filed complaints with the commune police and rights group Adhoc, she said.

Sovann could not be reached for comment yesterday, but denied involvement in the alleged incident during an appearance on Voice of America radio.

Kokithom commune police chief Nou Pipo said the department was still investigating.

In a separate incident, complaints were filed by Kampong Cham CNRP candidate Kouy Bunreoun after five CNRP youths told him Chanmol commune police chief Nor Chan Monyroth threatened to kill them with a grenade because of their affiliation, Bunreoun said.

Bunreoun has filed complaints on their behalf with Memot district police and Provincial Election Committee officials, and appealed to the Interior Ministry for Monyroth’s arrest, he said.

Monyroth could not be reached for comment.

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