The Prey Veng provincial election committee on Sunday morning rejected an SRP complaint against CPP lawmaker candidate and Interior Ministry Secretary of State Prum Sokha, who was accused of gift-giving, officials said.
Men Monyratana, an SRP lawmaker for Prey Veng, had filed a complaint accusing Prum Sokha of handing out money and sarongs during a school groundbreaking ceremony June 30. The complaint was rejected at the commune level July 2.
According to election law, it is illegal to give gifts—including money, rice and sarongs—but it is not illegal to dole out party promotional material, such as T-shirts bearing party logos.
PEC President Huot Phan said that he ultimately dismissed the case because there wasn’t enough evidence to back up the claim that Prum Sokha had handed out illegal gifts.
Prum Sokha had handed out hats and T-shirts bearing the CPP logo but there is “no evidence to prove Prum Sokha gave gifts,” he said.
Pim Samnang, an SRP candidate in Prey Veng who participated in the hearing, accused Huot Phan of being biased toward the CPP.
“The decision is unjust,” he said, adding that he would appeal the decision to the National Election Committee.
“I cannot accept the verdict. The PEC took witnesses into a secret place to swear. My witnesses were afraid. The PEC did not investigate this case,” he said.
Prum Sokha could not be reached for comment Sunday, but last week denied bribing voters with money.
In a separate incident in Kampot province, the president of the Sre Knong commune election committee in Chumkiri district ruled in favor of the commune’s SRP deputy chief, Sao Vang, over his claim that CPP deputy commune chief Nup Kong had intimidated him during an election campaign rally.
Sao Vang won 500,000 riel, or $125, in compensation, according to CEC President Seang Phal.
According to an NEC statement issued Friday, Tho Mao, a 19-year-old CPP activist in Prey Veng province, was stabbed while dancing at a neighbor’s house July 3 and is currently in critical condition.
NEC Secretary-General Tep Nytha said election officials are investigating the attack as well as the July 1 killing of Sort Som, a Kompong Speu province activist that both the CPP and Human Rights Party claim as a member. It is not yet clear whether the two attacks were politically motivated, he said.
“The violence against political activists is not always related to politics,” he said.
Tep Nytha said the NEC had received a total of 62 complaints as of Friday, but added that in general, the campaign was proceeding smoothly.