The Kampong Speu provincial police chief on Monday ordered his officers to tighten security and keep a lookout for any bid by former opposition supporters to disrupt the sub-national election scheduled for Sunday.
Speaking during a monthly meeting at the provincial police’s headquarters, Major General Sam Samuon said officers need to maintain security and public order during the council elections and prevent attempts by opposition groups intent on causing public disorder.
“Police forces have to ensure public order during the upcoming municipal, provincial and district council elections and prevent outlawed opposition rebel groups that attempt to provoke insecurity in society,” he said.
The NEC has allowed all parties to campaign for the May 26 elections between 6am and 10pm until Friday.
The seven parties registered to contest are the CPP, Khmer National United Party, Funcinpec, Khmer Nationality Party, Khmer Youth Party, Khmer Will Party and Khmer Republican Party, with total of 11,572 candidates.
There are 559 seats up for grabs in Phnom Penh and the 24 provinces, and 3,555 seats in all districts and cities across the Kingdom.
Former CNRP lawmaker Ou Chanrath yesterday said he supports the measure to provide extra public security, but noted that former opposition party members do not have the means to provoke unrest or disrupt the upcoming council elections.
“I think it is an overreaction because I don’t believe there is someone out there causing insecurity and public disorder,” he said. “The former CNRP had a policy of non-violence.”
In January, Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a sub-decree increasing the number of commanders of election security forces for the sub-national election. According to the sub-decree, the number would be increased from 38 to 43 commanders.
It added that the army will play an important role in ensuring that the preparation of the voters list and voter registration run smoothly.
“A permanent commander has to report regularly on security situations during the sub-national election,” the sub-decree said. “He will also oversee polling activities and inform the government of the results.”
“The permanent security commander has the right to use the seal of the Council of Ministers to fulfil his functions and duties,” it added.
Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun, National Police spokesman, yesterday said that police forces are ready to provide public security for the council elections.
“We have prepared our forces according to our plan to ensure public order,” he said, adding that around 100,000 security personnel, including security guards, will be deployed at all polling stations.