Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Candlelight Party distances from ballot spoil campaign

Candlelight Party distances from ballot spoil campaign

Candlelight Party vice-president Rong Chhun speaks to supporters in April. CP
Candlelight Party vice-president Rong Chhun speaks to supporters in April. CP

Candlelight Party distances from ballot spoil campaign

As Sunday’s general election approaches, the Candlelight Party (CP) has publicly distanced itself from online calls for people to spoil their election papers.

However, government officials contend that such a statement merely attempts to absolve the party from potential legal repercussions.

On July 19, the CP issued a public statement asserting it does not support the campaign, which urges voters to cross out their entire ballot papers.

The party stated that such actions are viewed as a violation of election law.

“The Candlelight Party declares that we are not involved in any illegal actions committed by individuals acting against the spirit of the Cambodian Constitution and relevant laws,” the statement read.

The statement further clarified that while the CP encourages voters to make independent decisions free from fear or coercion, it denies advocating for election boycotts or ballot spoiling.

Vice president of CP, Rong Chhun, reiterated that no calls had been made to supporters or voters advocating such actions.

The CP’s statement followed the arrest of several party members who were reportedly encouraging the public to spoil their ballot papers for the upcoming July 23 election.

One arrested individual confessed to being influenced by former opposition leader, Sam Rainsy.

Ministry of Justice spokesperson Chin Malin interpreted the CP’s statement as an attempt to deny involvement in the illegal actions of its members.

Malin warned that any proven link between the CP and Sam Rainsy’s call to spoil ballots or abstain from voting could result in legal responsibility for the party.

Sok Eysan, spokesperson for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, stated that the CP can voice any opinion it chooses, but law enforcement will continue to act against those breaking the law.

He noted: “As we all know, a call to spoil the ballot paper has been initiated by convict Sam Rainsy. If we arrest anyone for incitement and that person is a member of the Candlelight Party, the party cannot be absolved by their statement”.

The recently passed Article 142 of the election law stipulates that any individual instructing or inciting others to spoil election papers will face a fine ranging from five to 20 million riel, in addition to other potential criminal charges.


  • Tensions high ahead of historic Kun Khmer match up

    The long-awaited November 5 matchup between Kun Khmer legend Prum Samnang and Myanmar-Canadian boxer Dave Leduc has become the most anticipated fight of the year. The Wurkz Sena Kun Khmer promotion, which will be held at the Town Arena at Chip Mong 271 Megamall, will see six

  • Manet: Cambodia safe for travel

    Prime Minister Hun Manet acknowledged that Cambodia and China have cooperated to tackle internet scamming, fraud and other cross border crimes, but insisted that the “Kingdom of Wonders” is completely peaceful and safe. He welcomed tourists to come and explore its rich heritage. During a

  • UNESCO formally list Battambang gastronomy

    Battambang, renowned for its cultural heritage, has achieved a significant milestone as the first Cambodian municipality to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). The UCCN unites nearly 300 cities prioritising creativity and cultural industries in local development plans and international cooperation. On World Cities Day,

  • Cambodia pivots to solar, wind energy

    Cambodia is planning a move towards solar and wind energy to meet its rising power demands, according to Minister of Mines and Energy Keo Rottanak. On the sidelines of the Singapore International Energy Week event held recently, Rottanak emphasised the urgency of diversifying Cambodia’s

  • Angkor causeway symbol of Cambodia-Japan ties

    In a historic moment marking another milestone in the 70-year-long diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Japan, King Norodom Sihamoni celebrated the formal inauguration of a causeway located to the west of the world-renowned Angkor Wat. While presiding over the November 4 ceremony, the King emphasised the

  • Manet calls for Cambodia’s railways to get back on track

    Prime Minister Hun Manet has instructed the relevant authorities to expedite studies into upgrades to the Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk railway line. He suggested that the maximum speed on the line should be increased to 80km/h, in order to expedite the transportation of