Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Print shops see rise in demand as election day is approaching

Print shops see rise in demand as election day is approaching

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A worker at a printing house prepares Cambodian’s People Party (CPP) t-shirts and flags for sale in Tonle Bassac commune of the capital’s Chamkarmon district on May 17. Heng Chivoan

Print shops see rise in demand as election day is approaching

With the commune council elections three weeks away, the Kingdom’s political parties have purchased shirts, hats, stickers, and flags designed for their supporters from the capital’s print shops as part of their election campaigns.

Phnom Penh-based Five-Stars Apparel & Clothing owner Bou Sarom told The Post on May 17 that in the lead-up to the elections the high demand for hats, t-shirts and flags from political parties and their supporters had led to increased sales.

She added that previously she thought that there might not be any additional business related to the election due to the pandemic but with that no longer an issue this year demand spiked upward and she almost had to turn down some orders because she wasn’t prepared for it.

“They have ordered many items, including hats, shirts, banners, bumper stickers and flags to use during the election campaign. Before, everybody was too afraid of Covid to gather but now these past few days we’ve gotten a lot of orders. In just the past month we’ve sold 50,000 hats and shirts combined and thousands of other items,” she said.

Ung Sarath, 51, originally from Kampong Chhnang province but now living in Phnom Penh, told The Post that he and his wife have been loyal supporters of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) from a young age – having first cast their ballots for the CPP starting in 1993 – and they plan to do so again this year.

“We bought these shirts and hats for about 7 or 8 dollars. It doesn’t cost much. We cast our ballots every election and this is what we wear when we go to vote. We’ll be wearing our CPP shirts again on June 5,” he said.

The CPP set up public outreach booths for their election campaign along National Assembly Street in Tonle Bassac commune of Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district.

A party supporter at the location, who asked not to be named, told The Post that the CPP had been flying its flags, using loudspeakers on trucks and distributing leaflets to passers-by as usual this year as part of their campaign.

Cambodian Nation Love Party (CNLP) vice-president Kheuy Sinoeun told The Post on May 17 that the party had prepared banners, leaflets, t-shirts and hats to give out to their supporters for the election campaign period.

“We’re not staying in one location for our campaign. We’re going to use loudspeakers and microphones and march in a parade around town while handing out leaflets that inform people about our party platform,” he said.

The National Election Committee (NEC) issued a letter calling on all political parties, candidates and their supporters to follow Cambodia’s laws, election regulations and ethical principles as stipulated in the Law on Commune Council Elections and elsewhere.

The NEC said that everyone must abide by the established rules and procedures laid out by the NEC to ensure that the Kingdom’s political campaigning is accomplished by peaceful and non-violent means that maintain public order, national security and everyone’s safety.

“Under the law, the election campaign period allows political parties which have already registered their candidates to run for office in the next election to advertise their party platforms and run publicity campaigns to attract voters for any candidate or political party,” the letter read.

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