A possible Sam Rainsy Party commune election candidate is claiming he was physically intimidated by a police commander.
Pao Sun fled last week to Phnom Penh from his home in Prek Ksay commune, Peam Ro district, Prey Veng province. He is accusing commander Srey Sroeun of warning Pao Sun’s daughter, Sun Sinath, that her father should give up being a Sam Rainsy Party member.
But according to Prey Veng provincial police chief Doeung Bunny, the dispute is personal and not political.
Srey Sroeun told Peam Ro district police that he is a deputy commander with an anti-terrorism police unit in Kandal province. He said he is married to Sun Sinath and that her father put up a Sam Rainsy Party sign on land he had previously given to his daughter.
Srey Sroeun told police he was angry when he saw Pao Sun erect the sign, and announced that if the owner of the sign didn’t take it down in two hours, he would remove it. The sign was later found torn down, thrown onto a road, and chopped up.
Pao Sun admitted his daughter left home six years ago and that they had disagreements, but he said that when she returned home two months ago he allowed her to build a small house on his land.
Pao Sun said that every time Srey Sroeun talked to Sun Sinath, he was carrying two pistols.
“I think [the threats] are politically motivated, because he told my daughter to tell me to stop being a Sam Rainsy Party member,” Pao Sun said. “Before I put up the banner, he only threatened. But after it was erected he destroyed it immediately.”
New party signs have been a recent part of the Sam Rainsy Party’s build-up to the commune elections, tentatively scheduled for late next year, and hang on many roads out of the city.
Doeung Bunny, the provincial police chief, said Pao Sun had confessed in front of him that it was an internal family situation, and that he would not file any further complaints.