CPP Spokesperson Says Candlelight Will Fade, Setha Retorts Their Support Is Burning Hot

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A Candlelight Party gathering in Preah Vihear province on May 4, 2022. (Candlelight Party Facebook page)
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The Candlelight Party’s vice president said their support was only growing and would “burn” away the CPP, in response to a ruling party spokesperson’s comment that the opposition party will fade away.

CPP spokesperson Sok Eysan commented on the Candlelight’s prospects in a Telegram group on May 2 and shared it with journalists. The sitting senator said the opposition party would have no more light come election day and will “fade away,” pointing to recent defections away from Candlelight.

“The Candlelight Party will really fade away before the commune election,” Eysan said in the message.

Thach Setha, Candlelight’s vice president, was quick to react to the comments and said the party’s prospects were so bright that it would burn away the “thevada’s sarongs,” referring to traditional skirts given by the ruling party emblazoned with its logo, which is an angel.

“How can it blow out when it is already burning stronger? In some time, it will burn the thevada’s sarong,” Setha said on Tuesday.

The Candlelight Party has the most candidates of opposition parties in the fray and will compete with the CPP in 1,632 communes.

The party has also alleged intimidation and harassment of its members and candidates, with party official and former CNRP lawmaker Son Chhay submitting evidence to the Interior Ministry on Friday to support their claims.

The party said it was facing these issues in Pailin, Battambang, Pursat, Kampong Chhnang, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Preah Sihanouk, Preah Vihear, Svay Rieng, Kampong Cham, Tbong Khmum, Prey Veng, Kratie and Phnom Penh.

“We don’t know yet what action the Ministry of Interior will take. If the ministry is willing, the situation can be better where there is intimidation to remove [people] from ID Poor and threats to their personal security,”

Chhay also met with the Justice Ministry on Tuesday and asked for courts to drop charges against their members or delay court procedures till after the June commune election.

He said the Justice Ministry said it did not control the work of the court but that the ministry could monitor if arrests or charges made by the court were legitimate or not.

Justice Ministry spokesperson Chin Malin took to Facebook on Tuesday and said they could not interfere with the court.

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