Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police form 26 groups to verify CNRP petition signatures

Police form 26 groups to verify CNRP petition signatures

CNRP supporters organise petitions at the party headquarters late last month before delivering them to the Royal Palace.
CNRP supporters organise petitions at the party headquarters late last month before delivering them to the Royal Palace. Hong Menea

Police form 26 groups to verify CNRP petition signatures

Twenty-six working groups from the National Police are to work with the Interior Ministry’s identification department to verify thousands of thumbprints on a petition to the King delivered by the opposition party last week.

National Police chief Neth Savoeun made the announcement in a statement yesterday as people in at least three provinces were warned by police to stop collecting thumbprints for the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s second petition, expected to be delivered on June 13.

According to the statement, 21 working groups will sort through the more than 170,000 names on the first petition – which called for the King to help resolve Cambodia’s political stalemate – while five specialist groups will verify their identities.

The groups, whose sizes were not revealed, will work with the Ministry’s General Department of Identification, which holds citizens’ thumbprint information as biometric data linked to their national ID cards.

“The committee is expected to complete the task in 30 days,” Savoeun said.

On May 30, CNRP lawmakers delivered their petition to the Royal Palace asking King Norodom Sihanmoni to step in and stop a slew of “politically motivated” legal cases targeting their members – including acting CNRP president Kem Sokha – NGO workers and an election official. Soon after, Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered Interior Minister Sar Kheng to investigate its veracity.

In response, the CNRP has embarked on another drive to get at least 200,000 thumbprints to reinforce that their position has popular support.

As was the case with their earlier efforts, grassroots supporters collecting thumbprints have found themselves in trouble with local authorities.

CNRP officials yesterday confirmed at least six people had been detained by police in Phnom Penh, Kampong Thom and Koh Kong in recent days.

The individuals had their petition materials confiscated and were made to thumbprint a document stating they would stop collecting names.

None were held for more than an hour. Local media also reported three similar cases in Siem Reap, Kampot and Takeo.

Though the CNRP officials in Kampong Thom said only four people in the area were questioned, the province’s police chief Chou Sam An said they had “educated” 17 people against collecting thumbprints.

Ung Un, a CNRP official in Koh Kong’s Khemarak Phumin town who was questioned by police, said officers confiscated his petition and made him sign a contract to cease his collection drive.

MOST VIEWED

  • Breaking: US House passes 'Cambodia Democracy Act'

    The US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on Monday, passed the “HR 526 Cambodia Democracy Act”, also known as the Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019. If signed off by the president, the bill will allow two major sets of action to be taken against high-ranking Cambodian

  • ‘Zero-dollar’ tours under fire

    Minister of Tourism Thong Khon has blamed “zero-dollar” tour operators for the decrease in foreign tourists to Angkor Archaeological Park in the first half of this year and has called for action against them. Angkor Archaeological Park received 1.24 million foreign visitors in the first half

  • Breaking: Rubbish found packed inside 83 containers at S'ville port

    Eighty-three containers packed with rubbish were broken open at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port by joint authorities on Tuesday. The origin of the containers has yet to be ascertained, Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said. Pheaktra, who is also the ministry’s secretary of state, said

  • Some jobs off limits to foreigners from August

    Beginning from the second week of August, foreigners will be banned from driving taxis and tuk-tuks, as well as being motorcycle delivery drivers, street food vendors, hairdressers and product distributors among other lower-income jobs. Some white-collar jobs such as the head of human resources will