Police in Prey Veng province on Thursday questioned three opposition party officials over polling data that shows the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) besting the ruling CPP in the July 28 national election.
The questioning came a day after the Council of Ministers called for the arrest of anyone involved in creating documents that the government claims falsified election-related data collected by Washington-based International Republican Institute (IRI).
Opposition Kanh Chriech district council member Chhith Sophal said the three opposition commune officials were all questioned by district police about how they had obtained the documents containing the opposition’s projected election outcome, and were then released.
“They answered that the leaflets came from a Cambodia National Rescue Party activist in Kompong Cham province but they did not know his name,” Mr. Sophal said.
None of the three men questioned could be reached for comment.
Deputy district police chief Cheang Vutha confirmed that the three were questioned about the documents purporting to show IRI polling data but declined to comment further.
Provincial police chief Van Saroeun said “nothing happened” before also declining to answer more questions.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the Council of Ministers urged authorities to arrest and prosecute those who created “false documents” related to the election because they threatened to “cause social chaos.”
But the government has yet to explain what laws the existence of the documents has infringed.
Kong Bora, a National Assembly candidate for the CNRP in Prey Veng province, said police questioned the three commune officials only to intimidate them ahead of the elections.
“I think this is a threat to all our activists in Prey Veng province and across the country to make them scared,” he said.
The documents purport to reflect unspecified polling data showing the CNRP winning 64 of the National Assembly’s 123 seats to the CPP’s 59.
The CPP currently holds 90 of the seats and is widely expected to retain a majority after this month’s election.
IRI says both parties have repeatedly misinterpreted its data but would not share the “internal” data the parties say they have based their respective claims of victory on.