Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Election security forces not a 'threat': National Police

Election security forces not a 'threat': National Police

Ministry of Interior officials attend a meeting in Phnom Penh on security for voter registration and the upcoming commune elections in 2016.
Ministry of Interior officials attend a meeting in Phnom Penh on security for voter registration and the upcoming commune elections in 2016. Pha Lina

Election security forces not a 'threat': National Police

National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith on Friday sought to dismiss fears that the government’s plan to deploy 80,000 security forces during July's election is an act of intimidation, saying the troops will not be present at the polling stations themselves and would respect the rights of voters.

The government announced the numbers last Wednesday, saying that the force would include 20,000 “citizens”, raising alarm among human rights and election observers.

In an apparent response, Chantharith told pro-government outlet Fresh News on Friday that “there is no threat”. While the security guards are typically selected by local officials, almost all of whom are now members of the ruling party after the Cambodia National Rescue Party's forced dissolution, Chantharith also said they aren’t “the force of the political party”.

Speaking to The Post on Sunday, Chantharith said these forces will not actually be present at the polls, but will “stand by” in the commune, district and provincial halls as a reserve force in case the police are occupied.

“The commune chief, district and provincial police, all go out. So if something happens which needs intervention, no one can deal with it. That’s why we ask them to stand by at the halls,” he said.

Chantharith said the men would be trained to “understand the law, regulations and procedures”, but did not elaborate on the details of the training. Certain "focal" leaders of the forces received three days of training last week, and are meant to pass on information to the rest of forces.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The