Prime Minister Hun Sen has banned the sale and consumption of alcohol over June 2 and 3 to prevent unrest during commune elections, asking local authorities to inform citizens and low-level officials to respect the directive.
According to a copy of a directive issued on Friday and obtained by the Post, both Cambodians and all foreigners living in Cambodia are obliged to co-operate with the ban.
The directive, which will be in effect from midnight June 2 until midnight June 4, is intended to prevent violence, threats, disorder and other issues that can arise from alcohol consumption.
“Military police, national police and all levels of local authorities have to inform and educate the lower levels, villagers and foreigners in their community to suspend their selling and drinking of alcohol in order to make for good electoral process with freedom, justice and without violence,” the directive said.
The Ministers of Interior, Defence and Information were called on to broadcast the directive, and to instruct civil servants and national armed forces on how to enforce the ban.
Battambang provincial deputy police chief, Chhet Vanny, said yesterday that he had already notified villagers, beverage shop proprietors and restaurant owners.
“I spread the directive everywhere in the province, and I see that they are interested in it,” he said. “I think it is a very good directive because it will prevent any accidents occurring due to alcohol.
“I assure you that no one will go against this directive, because they know their duty already,” he added, saying he was unsure of the punishment for failing to respect the ban.
Keo Sok Socheat, 33, a beverage and ice seller at Takeo province’s Takeo market, said that police officials visited every shop to inform vendors of the ban.
She also said that authorities told the sellers to close their shops on Election Day, but going to vote wouldn’t keep her from opening her business.
“I can stop selling beer and wine as their directive, but I cannot close my shop,” she said. “My clients need to buy other beverages.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at [email protected]