CPP Accused of Politicking at the Poipet Border

Less than a week after authorities prevented opposition leader Kem Sokha from meeting and giving money to migrant workers fleeing Thailand, an opposition lawmaker and a rights worker claimed Tuesday that CPP activists have been distributing leaflets chastising the opposition’s lack of assistance for returning workers.

Mr. Sokha’s efforts to meet workers on Thursday were barred by local officials, with Poipet governor Ngor Mengchruon instructing his convoy only to hand out donations at their provincial party office.

A photograph of the leaflets posted online shows a message saying that only Prime Minister Hun Sen and his CPP have provided medicine, transport, food and donations to returning migrant workers.

“The CNRP provides no help to the workers,” the leaflet says. “Please, brother and sisters, think, and stop supporting the CNRP.”

“They only talk, but they cannot do.”

Soum Chankea, the Banteay Meanchey provincial coordinator for Adhoc, said the leaflets had been collected from across Poipet City.

Long Ry, a CNRP lawmaker-elect for the province, said he observed CPP activists distributing leaflets around the city late last week.

“These leaflets were shared to the migrant workers returning from Thailand after the time the authorities did not allow us to donate to the workers,” Mr. Ry said.

“I saw the youth group of Hun Many and the activists of the CPP sharing them,” he explained, referring to an ostensibly apolitical national youth group led by the prime minister’s son. “We wanted to take photos but the local officials know us and would not allow us.”

Mr. Mengchruon, the Poipet City governor, denied that any party had been allowed to hand out political material at the border.

“We didn’t see any leaflets being handed out around here, and I’ve been standing here for 24 hours [a day],” Mr. Mengchruon said.

Banteay Meanchey governor Konsuom Saroeuth said he knew nothing of the leaflets.

“I wonder why people are saying this, because it hasn’t happened. No party such as the CPP has done that,” Mr. Saroeuth said.

“Why do you believe Adhoc but not the authorities?”

Poipet City police chief Ouk Sophal said he would not investigate unauthorized leafleting without a formal complaint.

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