Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry to punish fraudsters who ink finger without voting

Ministry to punish fraudsters who ink finger without voting

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany (left) show their inked fingers after casting their ballots at a polling station in Kandal province during commune elections on June 4, 2017. TANG CHHIN SOTHY/afp

Ministry to punish fraudsters who ink finger without voting

Government officials have threatened that those who boycott the coming election but ink their fingers to indicate they had voted will face punishment according to the law. But analysts and opposition figures say that there is no applicable law relating to such an issue.

Kim Santepheap, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Justice, said on Wednesday that those who fake having voted will face penalties according to criminal law.

The threat was an obvious reference to the former leader of the now-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party, Sam Rainsy, who called for a boycott of the July 29 national elections.

He is quoted by Fresh News as saying: “Faking having voted by inking the finger is an ill-intentioned act meant to cause confusion about the real number of voters. It will lead to having more voters than the actual ballot papers.

“This action causes the confusion that there is an irregularity in the election which further promotes chaos in society.

“The above action is against the law, with the penalty of going to jail, according to the Criminal Code,” he said, without specifying the articles people would be arrested under.

Santepheap did not respond to queries raised by The Post on Wednesday. But his statement was welcomed by Interior Ministry spokesperson, Khieu Sopheak.

“We will let them work on how to approach this issue. Maybe he found a law which can be enforced because he is good with legal issues.

“We, the Ministry of Interior, are waiting to enforce the law. We will enforce it immediately. We will wait to be told about the law by the Ministry of Justice,” Sopheak said on Wednesday.

Mu Sochua, former CNRP deputy president, asked what law would be applied and claimed the move to take criminal action is unconstitutional.

“I believe the Cambodian People’s Party is afraid of the power of the people who will boycott the election,” she said on Wednesday.

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said there could be no penalty without a law. He said a legal officer, like Santepheap, is required to base a charge on specific legal provisions.

“Otherwise, his statement would inevitably be seen as a threat or coercion to compel people to vote, if not being just a lie,” Hay said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro