Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - HRP calls Victory Day shenanigans

HRP calls Victory Day shenanigans

HRP calls Victory Day shenanigans

A Human Rights Party lawmaker yesterday accused ruling-party officials from the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy (MIME) of using state resources for campaigning over the January 7 holiday.

Ou Chanrith, a spokesman for the HRP, said yesterday Suy Sem, the Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy, and a coterie of subordinates had used nearly 30 state-owned vehicles to spread party propaganda and strengthen grassroots connections in Pursat province under the guise of a Victory Day celebration.

“We want to tell the public the use of state resources by a political party is an illegal act,” Chanrith said. “State resources are the people’s resources; they do not belong to any... party.”

Chanrith said he would be writing letters to the National Election Committee and the MIME, asking why Cambodian People’s Party officials — all decked out in CPP branded shirts — had used the 27 government vehicles for political purposes.

NEC secretary-general Tep Nytha said that unless an alleged impropriety occurred during the official campaign in the month leading up to elections, it was outside the committee’s jurisdiction.

“From now until the election campaign [begins], it is the political party’s business,” he said.  

Suy Sem and other MIME officials could not be reached for comment, but CPP senior lawmaker Cheam Yeap said the use of state resources on Victory Day was not illegal because the day was a national holiday, not a day for propaganda from any political party.   

But Koul Panha, executive director of the election monitor Comfrel, called the issue complicated, saying January 7 was technically a national holiday but had long been used by the CPP to advance a political agenda.  

With election season ramping up, the NEC was obligated to monitor anything that might affect the elections’ outcome, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meas Sokchea at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen to ‘step down’ if he loses Sam Rainsy bet over Kem Sokha

    Hun Sen has promised to step down as prime minister while opposition figure Sam Rainsy pledges to turn himself in as forfeits if the long-term political rivals lose a “bet” over the future of former opposition leader Kem Sokha, who is on bail awaiting trial

  • UAE prince seeks to invest in Cambodia

    The UAE has expressed interest in Cambodian oil and gas exploration. Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem said this was the result of his discussions with Sheikh Ahmed bin Dalmook bin Juma al-Maktoum, a member of the royal family who visited him on Wednesday.

  • Smith calls for ‘release’ of Sokha as visit ends

    At a press conference to conclude her 11-day visit to Cambodia, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia Rhona Smith on Thursday called for treason charges against former opposition leader Kem Sokha to be dropped and for him to be released from “restricted detention”.

  • PM denies ‘nepotism’ claims

    Prime minister Hun Sen denied on Thursday that nepotism was involved in the recent promotions of the children of senior government officials. He said they had been “trained” and were entirely capable of carrying out their duties while being open to “punishment” like anyone else.