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Two More Candlelight Party Members Detained on ‘Incitement’ Charges

PHNOM PENH: Two more Candlelight Party members were held in custody by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday on charges of "inciting serious social unrest” to cause rioting in the election.

The court ordered the detention of the two members of the Candlelight Party following an arrest warrant issued by the Investigating Judges of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on July 17. The investigating judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged the two with "inciting serious social unrest" and causing unrest in the election, committed in Cambodia in 2023 and subsequent criminal offenses provides punishment in accordance with the provisions of Article 494 and Article 495 of the Penal Code.

No further details were provided.

On July 16, two other Candlelight Party members, Ly Ry and Bun Kate, were sent to court in connection with inciting people to invalidate their ballots. Both leaders came forward to admit their guilt and said that they were doing so on the orders of convicted opposition leader Sam Rainsy.

According to the newly amended Election Law, Article 142 stipulates that those who instruct or incite voters to destroy or damage their ballot shall be fined 5 million to 20 million Riels by the National Election Committee before considering other criminal charges. In the same law, the new Article 143 stipulates that any political party that commits the same offenses may be deprived of the right to participate in the election for at least five years by the National Election Committee.

This week, the law was officially referenced when Sam Rainsy, along with 16 others were found guilty of incitement, fined heavily and stripped of their voting rights and ability to run in elections for 20-25 years. The law went into effect three weeks ago and was a response to opposition members trying to protest the upcoming election.

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