Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday that he will suspend his visits to garment workers when the national election campaign period starts in early July, in line with limits set by the National Election Committee.
Mr Hun Sen told thousands of workers in Kandal province yesterday that he would resume the visits after the campaign period was over.
Campaigning for the July 29 election runs from July 7 to 27.
Mr Hun Sen added that before the campaign period begins, he still plans to meet workers, including in Kampong Cham, Takeo and Kampong Chhnang provinces and then Kandal province again next week.
“During the election campaign, I have to suspend meetings with workers because the NEC bans the provision of aid,” he said. “For example, when I finish my speech I distribute aid for pregnant workers, but if I do so during the election campaign, I will be fined; I would be punished by the NEC.”
Mr Hun Sen said that after the election he will resume visits with garment workers, noting he expects to remain Prime Minister.
“I hope you will all vote for the Cambodian People’s Party and for me to continue to develop our country and keep the peace,” he said.
Mr Hun Sen started meeting garment workers in August last year. He has met them 43 times already, amounting to 540,950 workers, team leaders, company representative and unions officials.
Far Saly, president of the National Trade Unions Coalition, said yesterday it was right for the Prime Minister to suspend his visits during the campaign period.
“He respects the rules of the NEC that he has to suspend his meetings with workers in order not to allow other political parties to criticise or accuse him or his party of using his role as Prime Minister to campaign or buy workers’ support,” he said.
The NEC says anyone buying votes can be fined under the election law from between five million to 20 million riel ($1,250 to $5,000). Offending candidates also face the withdrawal of their candidacy.