The Ministry of Interior has so far reviewed more than 60,000 signatures on an opposition petition delivered to the King in May, and has found nearly 3,000 alleged irregularities, the ministry said on Friday.
Speaking at a press conference, ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak told reporters that in addition to the irregularities, the ministry had also arrived at a slightly lower total number of signatures than the opposition’s stated figure of more than 170,000. He noted, however, that files for four provinces were not found among the documents.
According to Sopheak, among the irregularities were 738 thumbprints corresponding to 2,961 names, and one instance in which one person had used seven of their fingers alongside multiple names.
The CNRP had filed the petition asking the King to intervene in what they characterised as the country’s political crisis, with Prime Minister Hun Sen ordering the investigation into the prints’ veracity – an extraordinary measure in a country where such petitions are routinely presented – shortly thereafter.
Opposition lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang yesterday said the investigation was simply further “intimidation”.