Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Election ink video ‘provoked chaos’: PM

Election ink video ‘provoked chaos’: PM

A Post reporter cleaned ink from her finger using ordinary household bleach five hours after voting in Phnom Penh in July.
A Post reporter cleaned ink from her finger using ordinary household bleach five hours after voting in Phnom Penh in July. POST STAFF

Election ink video ‘provoked chaos’: PM

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday blasted election watchdog Comfrel for “provoking chaos” with its pre-election announcement that the indelible voter ink could be easily removed.

Just one day before the July 28 vote, Comfrel released a video showing the ink being removed with an unnamed liquid and urged voters to keep an eye out for double votes.

Speaking to reporters at the National Assembly, Hun Sen said the NGO deserved a share of moral responsibility for some of the problems that occurred on election day.

“Comfrel stirred chaos just a few hours before the vote [by saying] the black ink can be cleaned off. So Comfrel has to understand – what is the responsibility of a person who causes chaos a few hours before the election when serving as an NGO monitoring the election? They should apologise to the nation for provoking chaos,” he said.

“I think, at least, they have a moral responsibility, because [their claim] is a huge problem.”

While Comfrel was the first to point out the delibility of the ink, hundreds of voters followed suit on election day, posting to Facebook numerous videos and setting up removal stations outside polling sites. The government, in spite of the ample evidence to the contrary, has continued to maintain the ink could not be washed off.

Koul Panha, executive director of Comfrel, yesterday said that if anything, the group ensured a slightly more legitimate and transparent election.

“Our work is an official fact,” he said, adding that staff members tested the ink at the request of the National Election Committee, which had called on NGOs and journalists to verify that the ink could not be scrubbed off. The ink test, he continued, came amid concerns over 1.7 million temporary identification forms, and a raft of voter list problems that could easily allow double votes.

“We have to be transparent about [ink removal], otherwise, people will complain after the election.”

MOST VIEWED

  • PM orders immediate action against ‘sexy’ live streamers

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday ordered immediate action against women who live stream their sales pitches on Facebook wearing revealing clothing. The prime minister said the practice erodes traditional Cambodian values and disgraces women. Hun Sen gave the order to officials attending the Cambodian

  • Trump tweets praise for Kingdom docking ship

    Cambodia continues to earn praise for its humanitarian act of allowing the MS Westerdam cruise ship with more than 2,200 passengers and crew on board to dock at the Preah Sihanouk port. The praise this time comes from none other than US President Donald Trump. “Thank

  • Tourist area greenlit in Sihanoukville

    The National Committee for Coastal Management and Development will coordinate with relevant ministries over the establishment of a billion-dollar tourist area named Neak Reach in Preah Sihanouk province after it was proposed by the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and

  • Hun Sen defends decision to dock Westerdam cruise ship

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday hit back at critics who say he allowed the Westerdam cruise ship to dock in Sihanoukville for political reasons. Speaking at an annual gathering of the Ministry of Interior, Hun Sen said he acted to avert a humanitarian catastrophe

  • Organic vegetable retailer unveils QR code scheme for origin source

    Organic vegetable retailer Natural Agriculture Village has introduced QR codes on its product packaging, which will allow consumers to see where their produce comes from. Natural Agriculture Village president Bun Sieng, who is also a member of local distributor Green Gold, told The Post on

  • Cool heads will defeat Covid-19

    Since Covid-19 was first reported as a world health issue, cruise ships have been the worst to suffer after airlines. The experiences of those who were initially trapped on the Covid-19-stricken Diamond Princess are unimaginable. The cruise ship was rejected from docking at one