The government yesterday vehemently decried the results of a fake survey circulated on social media that predicted a sizeable opposition victory in the upcoming national elections, calling on authorities to find and prosecute those responsible for its creation.
Council of Ministers spokesman Keo Remy, speaking at a televised press conference, called on citizens and investors alike to “remain calm”, and assured viewers that the survey – which was falsely attributed to the International Republican Institute — was indeed a hoax perpetrated by an unnamed political party.
“The Cambodian government would like to appeal to all the voters to remain calm, and not to surrender to the evil trick of that one political party, because Jessica Keegan, president of the IRI, on July 15 wrote an email to the Council of Ministers denying the survey was conducted by the IRI,” said Remy, who declined to say which party was allegedly behind the hoax.
The IRI confirmed to the Post on Tuesday that they had nothing to do with the “survey”.
Remy added that the government would prosecute the perpetrators of the hoax — under unspecified charges — unless they handed themselves over to authorities, in which case, they “will receive a reward” from the government.
The fake survey consisted of a single page, province-by-province breakdown of votes predicted to be cast for the Cambodia National Rescue Party and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. All told, the survey predicted a comfortable victory for the opposition, with 54 per cent of the vote, compared to the ruling party’s 46 per cent.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Press and Quick Reaction Unit had similarly harsh words for the prank, which it attributed to “evil elements who are activists and propagandists of a political party”.
“This utmost despicable act of this evil group has been undermining the election process expected to be free, transparent and especially just and fair,” the statement read. “On the other hand, this evil and despicable trick aimed at misleading the public has jeopardised social stability, caused insecurity, affected economic and financial situation which is currently very healthy and it would as well bring about social unrest.”