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

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration