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CPP Forced Coalition Defection: Officials

The Funcinpec party said Friday at least 50 members had been forced to join the ruling Cambodian People’s Party in Siem Reap province.

Chhum Sam, a Funcinpec commune leader for Srey Snom, said members were given money and gifts by CPP officials who told them a defection would mean they could live in peace and without intimidation.

Srey Snom District Governor Chhuern Chhean could not be reached for comment, but Tin Narin, a CPP commune chief, denied the accusations.

Adhoc investigator Sous Narin said he was working to confirm a lobbying effort by the CPP for Funcinpec, but he had not received a complaint from the coalition partner. Such acts could be a breach of election law, he said.