Poll Stations Near A Veng to Operate Despite Concerns

Polling stations near the scene of Friday’s attack on an electoral convoy will be open for voting on July 26, despite continued security fears, officials said Wed­nesday. 

National Election Committee Secretary-General Im Suorsdei told reporters the four stations in Trapaing Prasat—40 km east of the former Khmer Rouge stronghold of Anlong Veng—would be open whether or not observers would be allowed to attend.

The deputy chief of operations for RCAF general staff, Huot Chheang, said Wednesday extra troops have been ordered around Anlong Veng to provide security for polling day. He added that the area remains unpredictable be­cause of the proximity of an estimated 200 hard-line guerrillas under the command of Khmer Rouge chief of staff Ta Mok.

“There are still remaining Khmer Rouge solders and ex­trem­ist soldiers who are ready in position to disrupt [the polls] in re­mote areas,” he said. NEC officials, however, said earlier this week they were unable to determine the affiliation of the assail­ants involved in Friday’s attack, in which two people died and five were injured.

An election watchdog group official earlier this month reported intimidation at the hands of a high-ranking rebel defector in Anlong Veng, who told him his organization was not welcome because “only communist law” was allowed there.


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