Four Funcinpec activists fled to Phnom Penh from Takeo and Koh Kong on Monday, claiming their lives were at risk if they continued working in their provinces.
Mom Kong, a 32-year-old party worker, spent the election campaign in Koh Kong drumming up support for Funcinpec. The day before the election, he said he was threatened at gunpoint by a man claiming to be an officer at the marine base.
“He pointed a gun at my neck and said my life was in danger if I didn’t leave Koh Kong right away,” Mom Kong said Monday in Phnom Penh.
Two Funcinpec colleagues, from elsewhere in Koh Kong, said soldiers had demanded they take down their party sign after the poll. Chea Hen said the soldiers detained him for five hours in Chroy Svay commune, Sre Ambel district after the election.
“They asked me why I hadn’t taken down the Funcinpec sign, because Funcinpec had lost and so why did we still have the sign up?” he said.
He added that he and the other worker, Bit Boeun, were too scared to return to Koh Kong in case soldiers attacked them.
Youk Bun Teng was a party agent in Takeo’s Kiri Vong district. He made two complaints to the communal election commission, one over a lack of observers at the count and another alleging the CPP had ticked ballots for blind people.
He said he was threatened afterwards. “I was told I could die any day after the election,” he said in Phnom Penh. He fled to the capital because he feared for his safety, he said.
Youk Bun Teng said low-level CPP members were not listening to calls by Second Prime Minister Hun Sen to keep the peace. “These threats still exist in remote areas like my province, they could do anything they like. The higher levels of government can declare these things, but the lower levels do not respect this.”
“In the countryside, the law is hardly implemented,” added Bit Boeun.