Opposition protesters warned of violent crackdown if they reject poll results

Cambodian Defence Minister Tea Banh has threatened to use military force to crack down on the opposition party and its supporters if they do not accept results of the forthcoming election, The Phnom Penh Post Online reported on Wednesday.

The defence minister made his unveiled threat in his speech during the inauguration ceremony of a new Siem Reap provincial administration hall on Sunday.

“When they lose the election, but refuse to accept and come demanding this and that, we will not allow it. They will be beaten until their teeth come out,” said Banh on Tuesday.

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovanh declined to respond to Banh’s threat but appealed to politicians and citizens to join together to build a society without violence.

Cambodian Centre for Human Rights Chak Sopheap said Banh’s comments were at odds with the military’s legal obligation and were likely made to intimidate the Cambodian public into voting based on fear.

She said state forces must be used to help guarantee the peaceful exercise of rights, including the right to demonstrate peacefully, rather than violate them.

Tags: Tea Banh, threat, opposition party and supporters, election results