A Sam Rainsy Party activist was shot in the buttocks and leg March 4 in what police say was a personal dispute, but the party is calling it a case of political intimidation.
Ham Bunly, who was ninth on the party’s list of commune council candidates, is being treated at the Kompong Cham provincial hospital, said Sam Rainsy Party provincial chief Mao Monyvann.
The shooting occurred in Tbong Khmum district, Kompong Cham province, an area that saw a number of politically related assaults before the Feb 3 election.
Long Kim Sreang, Tbong Khmum district deputy chief of judicial police, said Ham Bunly was shot while walking with his daughter in Ang Chem commune. Long Kim Sreang said the shooting occurred when a man attempted to grab Ham Bunly’s daughter, and he rushed to her aid.
Yim Sovann, a Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian, said Ham Bunly was riding a motorbike when he was shot by a man he knows who was on another motorbike. Yim Sovann said Ham Bunly is reluctant to report his assailant’s name to police because he is afraid of retaliation.
“This is a political issue, because in the commune there are always threats to the opposition party,” said Mao Monyvann. He noted that Ham Bunly had never had any arguments with anyone before becoming a commune council candidate.