Candlelight’s Kung Raiya Fined 5 Million Riel

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Raiya shares a laugh with a Candlelight colleague in Sdao commune on May 8, 2022. (Roun Ry/VOD)
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The Kampong Cham provincial election committee fined Candlelight Party commune-chief candidate Kung Raiya around $1,250 for insulting the competition, but he was cleared over distributing money to colleagues, an NEC spokesman said.

The provincial committee issued a decision Saturday saying Raiya was fined under articles 171 and 181 of the Commune Election Law.

Article 181 relates to insulting other candidates and parties, while Article 171 has a list of possible infractions related to causing disorder and preventing voters from voting. Both violations are punishable by a minimum 5 million riel fine. Raiya was fined 5 million riel total.

Nov Raksa, lawyer for the CPP representative who filed the complaint, also asked that 11 Candlelight candidates including Raiya be disqualified, but the provincial election committee ruled to keep the party’s candidates.

Raiya can appeal to the National Election Committee.

The Candlelight candidate, an activist known for being arrested in 2015 for calling for a “color revolution,” previously disputed the CPP complaint, saying giving money to colleagues for expenses was not vote-buying.

A video last week showed him giving the councilor candidates in Kang Meas district’s Sdao commune $100 each, sparking the CPP complaint.

NEC spokesperson Sam Sorida said on Monday that there was no issue with Raiya’s distribution of money, but he had campaigned by insulting others, resulting in the fines. Sorida said Raiya had appealed.

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