Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Post-election payout

Post-election payout

Villagers gather outside a commune leader’s house in Kampong Cham province’s Tbong Khmum.
Villagers gather outside a commune leader’s house in Kampong Cham province’s Tbong Khmum. They received a payout for voting for the CPP during general elections on Sunday. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Post-election payout

Some 50 people in Kampong Cham province’s Tbong Khmum district were summoned to a pagoda on Monday morning to receive their promised pay-offs for votes they cast for the ruling party in the previous day’s election – but only after swearing an oath before the pagoda spirit that they actually did.

Runn Sophea, the deputy district governor in Tbong Khmum, confirmed the payments to the Post yesterday, while denying that villagers had been made to swear an oath.

According to local villagers, all of whom asked not to be named for fear of reprisal, village chiefs and their subordinates had passed out money that had been handed down from higher levels of the party leadership, with 10,000 riel ($2.50) going to each villager who swore the oath and 20,000 riel going to the chiefs themselves for organising the vote.

“The people asked [villagers] to swear that half their body would die if they had not voted for the CPP,” said one villager. “I did not take the oath, because I did not vote for them and the pagoda spirit is very effective, but some people took the money, because they had voted for the CPP.”

Another villager who said he was called to claim the money, said the oath-taking ceremony was meant to identify Cambodia National Rescue Party supporters.

“In the law, it says the election is secret, but how secret is it?” he asked, adding that oaths were taken to find out “exactly who voted for the CNRP in order to easily watch them”.

Deputy district governor Sophea, a Cambodian People’s Party appointee, denied any such conspiracy.

“Giving money is just to encourage them because they voted for the CPP, and after the election, Peam Chilaing commune was won by the CPP,” he said.

Provincial Comfrel official Neang Savath said that instances of payments made after Election Day had cropped up in two districts, and that the oath-taking constituted intimidation.

“Forcing people to swear is a threat, and it is an illegal act that someone must be held responsible for before the law,” he said.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Phnom Penh smothered in smelly, dangerous haze as landfill fire continues burning

    A putrid haze that has bedeviled Phnom Penh since Monday night will likely continue as a landfill in Dangkao district continued to burn on Friday, creating health risks for the capital's residents. Workers at the Dangkao landfill on site on Friday attributed the fire, which