Defeated Bar President Appeals Poll Results

Former Cambodian Bar As­so­ci­ation president Ky Tech, who was unseated in a Oct 16 runoff vote for the bar presidency, has challenged the result with a complaint to the Appeals Court.

Claiming election irregularities, 40 lawyers have signed a petition to nullify the ballot count, suspend the presidency of the winner, Suon Visal, and hold a new vote, Ky Tech said Thursday.

Suon Visal said Wednesday that despite an amiable Bar Coun­cil meeting on Oct 22 at which Ky Tech agreed to cooperate with his apparent successor, Ky Tech has now sought to undermine his taking office.

Suon Visal, a legal aid lawyer with the Cambodian Defenders Project, also claimed that Ky Tech instructed the bar office’s staff not to cooperate with him.

“I tried to call a meeting [of of­fice staff] yesterday, and he said I should not do that. Ky Tech said that,” Suon Visal said.

Ky Tech said Thursday that Suon Visal would have to wait un­til the Appeals Court resolves the case. He accused his op­po­nent of distributing campaign leaflets be­fore the vote, violating a ban on electioneering. Suon Visal denied that charge.

Ky Tech also claimed that Suon Visal and two other candidates be­smirched his name. “They de­famed me, saying I was a dic­ta­tor…be­cause I al­lowed four people to join,” Ky Tech said.

In September, the bar admitted Prime Minister Hun Sen, Deputy Prime Min­isters Sok An and Sar Kheng and In­terior Ministry Secretary of State Prum Sokha.

Some questioned their ad­mittance, claiming the bar’s neutrality was being compromised by its re­la­tionship with the CPP.

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