CPP, SRP Fined for Violating Campaign Rules

The National Election Commit­tee on Wednesday fined officials from the SRP and CPP a total of $5,000 for breaching election campaign rules, according to NEC chairman Im Suosdey.

“The NEC rejected the decision of the Kampot provincial election committee and fined [RCAF military commander] San Sman $1,250,” he said, referring to a case brought by SRP Deputy Secretary-General Mu Sochua on June 30 accusing him of driving a state vehicle with CPP logos on it.

The Kampot PEC had rejected Mu Sochua’s case earlier this month.

Im Suosdey added that Chim Vandet, a CPP deputy village chief in Preah Vihear province, was fined $1,250 for wearing a shirt and cap with CPP logos while using a state-owned motorbike.

Im Suosdey said several violations of campaign rules that were reported by officials in Kompong Cham and Kratie against SRP leader Sam Rainsy had been combined in a single case for which he was fined a total of $2,500.

This step was taken, according to Im Suosdey, because the violations were all the same and were committed by the same person.

“Sam Rainsy is to be fined $2,500 for defamation and insulting [the CPP leadership], which is banned,” he said, adding that the chamber had denied a request by the complainants to delete Sam Rainsy’s name from voter lists, which would have deprived the opposition leader of his candidacy and his right to vote.

After the Wednesday hearing, Thach Setha, who represented the SRP at the hearing, said he would appeal the decision against Sam Rainsy to the Constitutional Council.

“Sam Rainsy did not mention anyone by name in this case,” he said.

However, attorney Benson Sam­ay, who represented the complainants in Kratie, said he would also appeal to the council to have Sam Rainsy’s name deleted from the voter list.

“This fine is not strong enough,” he said.

During the hearing, Kea Eav, rep­resenting the CPP for the cases in Kompong Cham, said he had also requested that Sam Rainsy’s name be removed from the list.

“He insulted CPP leaders by name, and we have the evidence,” he said.

Thach Setha, however, argued that Sam Rainsy had only mentioned a Global Witness report implicating top CPP officials in corrupt practices, but had not mentioned anyone by name.

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