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Armed forces will protect poll: Minister

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
Mr Kheng says forces were deployed to protect state institutions in 2013. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Interior Minister Sar Kheng has said the armed forces are committed to protecting the commune elections and preventing a colour revolution.
“We have to ensure the protection of state institutions,” Mr Kheng said at the presentation of royal Sante Bandit title certificates to 13 senior police officers at the Ministry of Interior.
The forces must also protect the elections, maintain peace and prevent a colour revolution, he said.
Mr Kheng said armed forces were deployed to protect state institutions when the opposition party put thousands of people on the streets protesting the result of the national election in 2013 and attempting to topple the legitimate government.    
“The election in 2013 was a difficult situation,” he said.
The opposition CNRP had refused to accept that it won 55 seats and the CPP 68 seats.
It led thousands of protesters around Phnom Penh to demand fresh elections and a ballot recount, as well as the removal of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
“They intended to destroy the election result,” Mr Kheng said.
“They were chanting ‘change, change’. We can say that was colour revolution.
“We had to protect the result. At that time they said it was not fair but they could not find any irregularity with the elections.”
Neither opposition CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann nor vice-president Eng Chhay Eang could be reached for comment.
Tep Nytha, secretary-general of the National Election Committee, met owners of television and radio stations yesterday to discuss election policies.
He said parties should be treated equally and charged the same prices. No party should have a monopoly on access to space.
The NEC said it had not cleared measures to control online TV and social media.
Mr Nytha said every country had a problem with social media.
“We have cooperated with the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication to monitor that issue,” he said.
“We have made educational measures a priority. We should remind each other to correct mistakes but if this does not happen we will
 confiscate propaganda equipment.
“We want the election process to work well and to maintain stability in society.”
Kem Gunawadh, director-general of the National Television of Kampuchea, said TVK had cooperated with the NEC to coordinate broadcasting policy for each party.
The NEC will broadcast daily interview panels featuring all political parties running in the local elections on state-run television and radio stations during the campaign period.
Each of the 12 parties will get seven minutes and 30 seconds of free airtime per day from May 20.

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