Phnom Penh – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Tuesday that authorities should arrest those behind online rumours stating that some of the indelible ink to be used in July 29 elections would fatally poison voters.
The Phnom Penh Post quoted Hun Sen, who has governed Cambodia for 33 years as saying that “this morning, I was informed about a fraud which becomes a crime for them,”.
“They said that there will be two types of black ink in use on election day: one bottle is a normal ink and the other contains poison, so whoever touches that ink will die in 24 hours,” he said
Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party is widely expected to sweep elections this month following the dissolution of the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) and the jailing of its president in 2017.
Before Cambodia’s contested 2013 elections, election watchdog Comfrel demonstrated that the election ink could be easily washed off, a 2013 Transparency International Cambodia report says.
Indelible ink is meant to stain a voter’s finger for up to 15 days in order to prevent citizens from voting more than once.
The premier on Monday appeared to accuse the election monitor and outlawed CNRP of being behind the rumours.
“This is a message to the same group of people who, five years ago, talked about erasable black ink,” Hun Sen said.
“We can’t let them get away (with it).”
Defence Ministry spokesman Chhum Sucheat told dpa that authorities were investigating and would “determine the suspects soon.”