Hun Sen praises National Police, while ordering them to vote in poll

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Dy Vichea, deputy chief of the National Police and Prime Minister Hun Sen’s son-in-law, is pictured at an Interior Ministry meeting in March 2017. Heng Chivoan

Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered National Police forces throughout the Kingdom to provide comprehensive security for the upcoming national elections, while also telling police officers to vote on July 29, countering former opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who recently called for a boycott if the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party is not allowed to take part.

The order from the Prime Minister was made in a three-page message, signed by him on May 12, to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the creation of the National Police on May 16.

In his message, he wrote that “rebel movement traitors have not given up their ambition to cause instability, especially attempting to destroy the process of the upcoming national elections.

“Therefore, the National Police still have the duty to ensure peace for our people and ensure a secure atmosphere [so] all National Police forces must also fulfil their duty to vote on July 29.”

He also praised and expressed gratitude to officers for having so far prevented attempts to topple the government through “colour revolution”.

However, Cheam Channy, a former opposition party lawmaker, said the message from the Prime Minister was essentially forcing people to vote for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

“It’s the people’s right; no law forces them to vote, including the police. It’s their individual right to vote or not vote as they wish. We deny there is a colour revolution. Everyone knows this is just Hun Sen,” he said.

“So far, he has called on garment workers to go to vote because he wants international recognition. This is violating their rights.”

Former opposition leader Kem Sokha has been in jail for more than eight months under the charges of “treason” and attempting to topple the government in collusion with foreigners. The Cambodia National Rescue Party was also dissolved by the Supreme Court in November, following a controversial lawsuit.

Recently, Hun Sen said the call by Sam Rainsy’s Cambodia National Rescue Movement not to vote is violating election laws, and has frequently urged Cambodians to vote for his Cambodian People’s Party.

Earlier this month Hun Sen’s son-in-law Dy Vichea was promoted to deputy chief of the National Police.

This month, Ieng Moly, chairman of the National AIDS Authority, claimed that those who refuse to cast their ballot in the Kingdom’s upcoming election “love dictatorship” and are “supporting rebel groups”.