As the election campaign period began Thursday, the National
Election Committee called for all political candidates not to drink alcohol and
to avoid violence and threats against other candidates and voters.
The separate appeals come as election watchdogs expressed
concern for the increase of intimidation and murders of political party
All political parties and candidates must avoid threats or
intimidation or violence, Im Sousdey, chairman of the NEC, said in a statement
to political parties issued Wednesday.
He warned candidates and parties not to incite supporters
and voters to violence or intimidation.
In another letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen, Im Sousdey requested
the leader issue a statement for the public to discourage drinking the day
before the election and on Election Day itself.
Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a statement Wednesday warning
all security forces and local authorities to prevent threats and irregularities
and any attempts to disturb the election period and Election Day.
The appeal and other government security measures were an
important move toward free and fair elections, said Koul Panha, director of the
Committee for Free and Fair Elections.
"But we are still concerned that threats and
intimidation will occur in the campaign and on Election Day," he said,
"because threats and intimidation against political activists has
increased since April."