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CPP Files Complaint Over Royal Portraits

Cambodian People's Party district political officials issued a campaign complaint Tuesday over the display of the royal portraits outside a Norodom Ranariddh Party headquarters.

CPP representative Nuon Nho filed the complaint at the commune election committee, or CEC, for Or Cha commune, Battambang district, Battambang province, alleging the violation of a code of conduct by the Norodom Ranariddh Party.

The party has hung the portraits of former king Norodom Sihanouk, former queen Norodom Monineath and King Norodom Sihamoni outside its provincial headquarters, which is a violation of the election law, according to the complaint.

NRP deputy chief of Battambang Sat Vichheka said Friday he knows the election law well, but the portraits have been displayed since 2007.

"These portraits have been displayed in front of the NRP office for worship, for respect of the king's institution, not for the election campaign," he said. "The NRP does not display these portraits in its leaflets and other election documents."

CEC chief Prak Saphal said he invited NRP representatives to attend a meeting to resolve the problem Saturday.

"We'll know the result tomorrow," he said.

Koul Panha, executive director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, said a display in front of the party office "for worship" is not a violation of election law.

If the portraits are displayed in documents for the campaign, such as leaflets or car billboards, it is a violation of regulations, he said.

Nuon Nho could not be reached for comment.

Battambang District Governor Uy Ry, of the CPP, said the display of the portraits was an election activity, because the photos are displayed on the NRP gates, outside, not inside the office.

Below the portraits are many leaflets posted about the campaign, he said.

In Phnom Penh, meanwhile, CPP coalition partner Funcinpec has displayed outside its national headquarters large portraits of Sihanouk and Monineath. The national office of the Norodom Ranariddh Party also displays portraits of the three royals.