Briefs: CPP Plans March With Tens of Thousands, Kung Raiya Fine Dropped

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Former youth activist and twice-jailed university student Kung Raiya is looking to emulate his late father by winning an election in Kampong Cham’s Sdao commune. (Roun Ry/VOD)
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Phnom Penh governor Khuong Sreng said the ruling CPP plans a march through five districts in the capital on Friday and expects a turnout of 50,000 to 60,000.

The party did not hold a march on the first day of campaigning, as usual in most election years, instead gathering only within communes on May 21.

The opposition held a march through the capital that day, and is also planning another on Friday, the last day of campaigning before Sunday’s vote.

No election activities are permitted on Saturday. Alcohol sales and news reports about the election are also banned.

“At about 7:30 a.m. I will [march] from 60 Meter Road to the city,” governor Sreng said of the Friday plans, using another name for Hun Sen Blvd. “[We will] march through five districts in the city.”

He did not explain the change in strategy between the first and last days of campaigning.

“There might be between 50,000 and 60,000 people across the city,” Sreng said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said in April that he would not be part of the commune election campaigning this year.

— Mech Dara

Kung Raiya Fine Dropped

A National Election Committee statement issued Thursday and posted online by opposition Candlelight candidate Kung Raiya revoked a $1,250 fine against him from the Kampong Cham provincial election committee.

Raiya, known for his 2015 jailing for calling for a “color revolution,” was accused of distributing money to party colleagues for expenses, as well as insulting political competitors. The NEC had already said that the distribution of funds was not against the law and Raiya had been fined for insulting competitors. Raiya had contested that giving party candidates expense funds did not constitute vote-buying.

In the Thursday decision, the NEC did not give the reason for revoking the fine. It added that the Candlelight Party would be able to retain all 15 candidates in Kang Meas district’s Sdao commune — the complainant, from the ruling CPP, had requested they be disqualified.

The decision was final, the document said.

— Roun Ry

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