Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Security force of 5,000 officers readied for national elections




Security force of 5,000 officers readied for national elections

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Cambodian police officers stand in formation during an inspection ceremony at Olympic National stadium in Phnom Penh on Wednesday in preparation for the July 29 national elections. TANG CHHIN Sothy/afp

Security force of 5,000 officers readied for national elections

Around 5,000 municipal police officers in the capital are being prepared to provide security at this weekend’s national elections, Phnom Penh’s police chief Chuon Sovan said on Wednesday.

Coming after a warning from Ministry of Interior officials to creators of fake news seeking to sow chaos, Sovan said he inspected and met with forces at Olympic Stadium earlier in the day.

He said the troops were instructed to prevent terrorist acts and any other attempt to destroy the election in the Kingdom’s largest city.

“[The troops are] strengthening all specialised measures to prevent the activities of terrorist groups which attempt to threaten or assassinate senior leaders, key people, candidates or speakers, and aim to cause explosions in Phnom Penh so that it serves as the obstacle for the election,” he said.

Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak told The Post on Wednesday that it is typical to deploy security forces during an election as events can quickly get out of control.

“We have some information ... we know that some groups have post-election plans and we know their plans beforehand. They intend to cause chaos and we already have measures to prevent them,” he said.

Cheam Channy, a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker, rejected any allegations that his former party planned to sow chaos.

“We have never contacted each other. We just look at Facebook and sometimes, we do not dare to share ... CNRP group will not make such a plan. We do not know where they get the information from,” Channy said.

Sovan said officers will be deployed to protect the 2,138 polling stations in Phnom Penh.

However, Sam Kuntheamy, executive director of local election watchdog Nicfec, said the July 29 national election will proceed smoothly and without any violence as the CNRP has already been dissolved.

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