Kandal and Siem Reap provinces are reporting the highest rates of violence and intimidation, the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia said.
In a statement Monday, Comfrel noted most parties had refrained from interfering in each others’ campaigns during the first three weeks of the campaign. But the group expressed concern on several fronts, including the spate of alleged political killings, intimidation and vote-buying.
According to Comfrel, Kandal province saw the most attempted vote-buying with a total of 25 cases reported—all but two involving the CPP. Similar cases were reported in Siem Reap, Takeo and Svay Rieng provinces and in Pailin involving the Son Sann Party, Buddhist Liberal Party and the CPP, Comfrel said.
Kandal also had the most allegations of the CPP using government facilities for campaigning purposes, as well as cases in which police and military participated in campaign activities.
Comfrel also stated that although most media have followed campaign rules, Khmer-language media have published numerous articles “fraught with libel, defamation and inflammatory language.”
The watchdog group called on the National Election Committee to follow up on the violence and politically related killings, reassure the public the election will proceed smoothly and take further measures to ensure that civil servants, local officials and military forces are neutral.