A Sam Rainsy Party member was stabbed to death—allegedly by the son of a CPP commune chief—in Takeo province earlier this month, officials said Tuesday.
Authorities said the killing did not appear to be politically motivated.
The opposition party member, Kak Khom, was killed in Prey Khla commune, Koh Andet district, on July 16 because of a personal dispute involving a volleyball game, Takeo Governor Kep Chak Tema said.
He said provincial authorities have detained Tit Chamroeun, 22, and Yi Koch, 32, in connection with the slaying. He confirmed that one of the suspects is related to the Prey Khla commune chief, but declined to say which one.
Nou Sangwa, provincial police chief, said the killing had nothing to do with politics. “We don’t care who is the member of the political parties—we only make the public secure for the people in the area,” he said.
Phi Thach, Sam Rainsy Party Cabinet chief, also said that Kak Khom was involved in an argument with the suspects over a volleyball game in the commune several months ago. However, Phi Thach added, Kak Khom was an active opposition party member in the commune and was disliked by Prey Khla Commune Chief Hoi Porn.
“The commune chief asked two people to execute the victim because he is with the Sam Rainsy Party,” Phi Thach claimed.
Phi Thach said that after victim’s wife reported the slaying to Hoi Porn, the commune chief told her that the case would not be investigated because her husband was a Sam Rainsy Party member.
“They send a message that all Sam Rainsy Party members at the grassroots level could be threatened and killed,” Phi Thach said. “This will stop the Sam Rainsy Party members from taking an active part in politics.”