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PEC Warns Official on Campaign Violation

The Kampot provincial election committee warned Tuesday a high-ranking ruling Cambodian People's Party official not to use military vehicles during election campaigning.

The warning was a result of a dispute between Sam Rainsy Party Kampot candidate Mu Sochua and San Sman, Kampot's deputy secretary-general and chief of the Kampong Trach district border crossing.

Mu Sochua alleged San Sman had traveled in a four-wheel drive military vehicle bearing a CPP campaign sign on both sides, five days into the campaign period.

"We warned him, referring to the provincial headquarter administration, and to the Ministry of Interior, that he must not use any more for the campaign the vehicle," said Te Chinarith, head of the PEC, who presided over Tuesday's hearing. "If he abuses this, he will be fined 5 million riel (about $1,250) and ban him from voting for 10 years."

Sam Sman applauded the ruling, but Mu Sochua was not satisfied with the decision.

"What the CPP official has done is too serious, and he must not merit such a warning," she said. "He should be prevented from voting."

The PEC decision was biased toward the CPP, which would impact the election, she said, adding that she planned to appeal the ruling to the National Election Committee.

Te Chinarith rejected the accusation.