Battambang province – Three of the 15 political parties battling for eight seats in Battambang province gathered at weekend rallies to start their election campaigns.
More than 10,000 members and supporters of the ruling CPP gathered on Saturday by the Sangke river in Battambang city to watch a live broadcast of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s speech from Phnom Penh.
After Mr Hun Sen’s speech, CPP vice-president Sar Kheng, who is running for a seat in the province, addressed the crowd in person.
“I hope that we will have a good election,” Mr Kheng said. “I appeal to all CPP members as well as other political parties, please conduct the election campaign in a peaceful and non-violent manner. That is very important for Cambodia.”
He said that if the election was marred with bloodshed or clashes, it would tarnish Cambodia’s credibility and reputation in the international community.
Before returning to their districts, those at the gathering formed a cavalcade through Battambang city.
Meanwhile, more than 5,000 members and supporters of the League for Democracy Party gathered at a football field in Battambang city yesterday with hundreds of vehicles and motorbikes snaking through the city and some districts.
Provincial party director Mel Sammoeuth said 7,000 to 8,000 people joined the march with about 2,000 motorbikes, 100 tuk-tuks, 100 cars and 100 trucks.
The LDP’s campaign was costing about $5,000 to $6,000 per day in which each member chipped in between 10,000 and 100,000 riel ($2.50 to $25), Mr Sammoeuth said.
“We will spend about $20,000 to $30,000 for the whole election campaign in Battambang province,” he said.
Meas Longdy, provincial director for the Beehive Social Democratic Party, said yesterday that more than 200 people with three tuk-tuks and about 40 motorbikes were marching from Battambang city near the Sangke river to Banan and Kors Kralor districts and then back to a gathering near the river at 5pm yesterday with events relayed through a loudspeaker until 10pm.
Mr Longdy declined to say how much money the BSDP was going to spend for the campaign from Saturday to July 27.
“We hope we will get some seats in Battambang province,” Mr Longdy said.
Mok Chansopheap, a member of the Battambang Provincial Election Committee, said yesterday that the campaign period was running smoothly.
“The security for the election campaign was good for Saturday and Sunday,” he said.
He added that the Khmer United Party would campaign in Battambang city’s Wat Kor commune today.