Teacher held for urging vote boycott


An elementary school teacher in Kampong Chhnang province was released on Tuesday, a day after he was detained for encouraging villagers to boycott the July 29 national elections, police said.

Om Sovann, 41, who teaches at the Trapaing Chan Elementary School, was arrested at 9pm on Monday in front of his friend Put Chey Sen’s home in Kampong Ors village, in Boribor district’s Phsar Chhnang commune.

Provincial police chief Loch Vannara said police took action after being informed by villagers that Sovann was telling them not to participate in the elections – an act the NEC has declared as a violation of the Election Law.

In a police report, Sovann is quoted as having said: “On election day, anyone can go to vote but in the voting booth, we can check anything we want because no one will see.

“It’s our decision if we don’t want to check [a party]. So when the day comes, we should stay at home.”

Sovann was released after signing a statement promising not to repeat his action, Vannara said.

Oung Dane