An opposition SRP member filed a complaint with the National Election Committee on Friday alleging that three men in Battambang province’s Mong Russei district had vandalized a sign displaying the party’s name on Tuesday. Since November, there have been 17 cases of local authorities preventing SRP supporters from mounting signs in the province, said Sao Chandeth, acting chief for the SRP in Battambang.
SRP supporter Gnum Palli, 40, said he had erected the opposition party sign about a year ago, but on Tuesday night he went outside his house to see three men destroying the sign with large sticks. After seeing Mr. Palli, the three suspects fled.
Mr. Palli said he suspected there was political motivation behind the sign being destroyed ahead of the commune elections in June.
“There are many cases of threats made toward the Sam Rainsy Party, especially as we move closer to the national elections,” said Out Choeun, another SRP member in the province.
Mong Russei District military police chief Kuth Heang said that the three men in the case were local residents Nang Nith, Veth Long and Nang Neang.
Mr. Heang said the sign had not been targeted for political reasons. Instead, he said, a fight between the men had broken out and the sign was damaged in the process.
“They fought with each other by throwing pieces of rock as well as wooden sticks after coming from a wedding party,” he said.