Cases Against CNRP Officials Over Campaign Clashes Proceed

Legal cases brought against CNRP officials from Phnom Penh and Takeo province over election-related clashes are proceeding with questioning, police and court officials said on Wednesday.

The CNRP’s top party boss in Phnom Penh, Morn Phalla, said he would appear for questioning at the Meanchey district police station on Friday after being summoned for the second time this week.

The case relates to a May 28 political rally during which a group of CNRP supporters are accused of attacking dump truck driver Sek Samon. A widely circulated Facebook video shows Mr. Samon, 27, driving his motorbike against traffic in the parade.

Mr. Phalla, head of the CNRP’s Phnom Penh executive committee, said the charges of intentional violence with aggravating circumstances were an attempt to disrupt the opposition.

“They are targeting the leaders,” he said. “They take action against me to weaken our party’s activists.”

Meanchey district police chief Teng Sino countered that there was no intent to “intimidate” or “pressure” the CNRP official. “It’s purely implementation of the law,” Mr. Sino said.

In a separate case, the Takeo provincial court plans to summon five CNRP commune candidates over a complaint leveled by a CPP official accusing them of defamation, public insult and incitement to commit a felony over a confrontation on a dirt road in Koh Andet district’s Prey Khla commune.

“We plan to summon them sometime this month. We won’t leave it unprocessed,” court spokesman Phan Sopheak said on Wednesday, adding that the court had delayed the questioning to allow them to campaign freely.

Keo Eat, head of the CNRP in Prey Khla and the party’s commune chief candidate, said the party’s provincial committee had hired a lawyer to fight the case, which he blamed for the opposition’s loss in the commune.

“They pressured us, and we could not campaign well,” he said.

According to the National Election Committee’s preliminary results, the opposition party lost the commune to the CPP by nearly 1,000 votes out of a total of about 4,500 cast.

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