The Cambodian commune elections has allegedly been marred by reports of bribery. Mr K alleges that 5 members of his family, in the Kaoh Chen commune, were paid by candidates from the ruling Cambodia Peoples Party to vote for them.
The Cambodian commune elections in 2012 select officials at the grassroots level to represent their community. The elections to be held on the 3rd June 2012 have been marred by reports of bribery by officials from the ruling Cambodia Peoples Party (CPP).
Mr K who wishes to remain anonymous alleges that 5 members of his family in the Kaoh Chen commune - Preak Chik village, Kandal Province - were paid $2.5 each by a Mr R Lon who is a member of the CPP.
"I have already spent the money," Mr. K tells me when I ask him for evidence of the vote buying.
"I cannot take you to speak with Mr. Lon as this will be dangerous for my family," he continues.
"Now we have taken the money we have to vote for the CPP because they can check who we have voted for," and he does appear to genuinely believe that the CPP can do that.
"Why did you take the money to vote if you believe that it's wrong?" I ask:
"If we dont take they know we vote for another Party," was his cynical response.
The Phnom Penh post reports today that the Prime Mininster Mr. Hun Sen and CPP vice-president has written a directive to ensure that all aspects of the democratic election process are fair: “Military police, national police and all levels of local authorities have to inform and educate the lower levels, villagers and foreigners in their community to suspend their selling and drinking of alcohol in order to make for good electoral process with freedom, justice and without violence.”
The CPP face a difficult electorate in Phnom Penh at the moment. Issues such as the alleged illegal land grab of prime development land at the Boeung Kak lake site by CPP government senator Lao Meng Khin, and the rapid imprisonment of 13 women protestors last week for the (ongoing) protests against the loss of their homes, may surface in the ballot box on 3rd June.