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.