Ministry Denies Intimidating CNRP

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Military units have only been holding drills, says the Ministry of Defense. KT/Mai Vireak

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday denied that Wednesday’s military drills in Phnom Penh were to threaten or intimidate members of the opposition.
According to a press release from the Defense Ministry spokesman yesterday, the movement of armed forces, patrol boats and helicopters in some locations of Phnom Penh and Kandal province was training for pilots and quick reaction forces.
It added that the training took place to enhance the armed forces’ fighting capacity to protect the integrity of the nation.
“This should be encouraged from public and patriotic politicians. Some politicians did not show support when they saw soldiers making an effort to increase their capacity to defend the country and said it threatened and intimidated them,” the press release said.
It added that when those politicians campaign for office, they boast of being patriots and defenders of the country, but then do not support the military when seeing Cambodian soldiers training and striving to improve.
“The spokesman of the National Defense Ministry denies all accusations from those politicians, and condemns all people whose intent is to tarnish the reputation of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, which holds a neutral position to protect the nation’s integrity and legitimate government,” it said.
On Wednesday, some Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) members said the buzzing of helicopters and the movement of armed forces was threatening and intimidating to the people, their party and voters after seeing the armed forces and helicopters near the CNRP headquarters, where acting party president Kem Sokha is in hiding.
CNRP president Sam Rainsy, who is in self-imposed exile in France, posted on his Facebook page that the government was threatening citizens in an attempt to make elections not free and fair.
Kouy Bun Roeun, vice-president of the National Election Committee (NEC) who is a former CNRP member, said the day’s military activities were the work of the government and had nothing to do with the NEC.
“The NEC will try to do its work in order to urge and call on citizens to register on time,” he said.

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