The Kandal Provincial Court on Wednesday charged a Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) supporter with intentional violence following a clash between CPP and CNRP supporters.
Bun Sokhorn, 31, is being held in pretrial detention after Monday’s clash, which occurred when the rival campaign groups crossed paths in Kompong Os commune, Ponhea Leu district, around midday, and scuffled, leaving three people injured.
“The prosecutor charged Bun Sokhorn with intentional violence and he was placed in pretrial detention,” provincial police chief Im Chamroeun said.
“We didn’t know if he was a member of the CPP or CNRP. We arrested him because he was involved in violence and injured people,” the police chief said.
Ponhea Leu district police chief Seng Srang said his officers arrested Mr. Sokhorn after it was alleged that he fought with CPP supporters in the clash. “We arrested Mr. Sokhorn [Wednesday] morning on allegations that he caused injury to a CPP activist,” Mr. Srang said.
The CPP supporter, who police did not name, claimed Mr. Sokhorn had hit him in the head—but he suffered minimal injury and was not hospitalized.
Mao Dyamang, CNRP head in Ponhea Leu district, claimed the arrest was unjust and gave his own version of what occurred Monday.
“It is an injustice for this villager who supported the CNRP to be arrested because he wasn’t involved in any violence,” he said.
Mr. Dyamang claimed that the CNRP led an election campaign rally in Kompong Os commune, which began at 7 a.m., and was peaceful until around midday, when he alleges that CPP supporters surrounded his group, threw water bottles at them and refused to let them move on.
“Members of the CPP in Ponhea Leu district always disrupt the CNRP when we hold an election campaign,” he said. “They came to fight us.”
District governor Tong Sivmy denied that the CPP caused the disruption. “It is not true that CPP activists used violence against CNRP supporters,” he said. “The CNRP supporters threw bottles of water and gathered to fight the CPP activists.”
National Election Committee Secretary-General Tep Nytha said the NEC had received 317 complaints related to similar campaign disruptions, but that only 10 of those had involved violence.