Political Opponents Fighting in Restaurants

Minor disputes between members of opposing political parties are causing disturbances in Bat­tambang province, a Battambang provincial police official said on Wednesday. The fights, which are mainly caused by allegedly intoxicated members and activists of the three major political parties, are being played out in the most public of places: Restaurants.

“Crime is increasing in Battam­bang after the election because the [party activists and supporters] are drunk in restaurants and villages and they are taking out their biases,” said Heng Chantha, police chief of Battambang.

Although Heng Chantha de­clined to provide a figure for the number of people involved in such crimes, he said that the amount is “very notable and we are taking measures to advise people not to use violence.” Other provinces, such as Kom­pong Chhnang, are also experiencing an increase in disturbances from clashing, drunken political opponents.

“We have advised them not to cause disputes because of political parties. We told them it is the leaders’ matter and they do not need to have an argument about political parties,” said Touch Naroth, police chief of Kompong Chhnang province. “Simple citizens should just vote for the party they prefer, not fight for politicians,” he said.

More serious crimes have also been increasing in some northwestern provinces. Villages in the remote districts of Mong Russei and Kors Kralor in Battambang province are reporting an in­crease in thefts and robberies during the post-election period.

“The robbers took our money and stole our cows—we do not dare sleep at night,” said Sean Nareth, who lives in Mong Russei.

The Battambang police chief agreed. “Mong Russei district has many cases of cow stealing, and thieves are taking this opportunity to make money,” Heng Chantha said, referring to the post-election period.

 

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