Cambodian radio station suspended for "inciting and intimidating news"

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The Ministry of Information has suspended the broadcast of a local ABC radio station after it had repeatedly broadcast news "inciting and intimidating to voters", National Election Committee (NEC)'s chairman Im Suosdey said Saturday.

"We asked the Ministry of Information to close the radio on Friday and the Ministry has closed the radio already," he said in a press conference, adding that the closure will be valid until after the fifth parliamentary elections on Sunday.

The suspension came after the radio station has broadcast news that violated the regulation and procedures of the election campaign and ignored NEC's verbal and written warnings.

"The station owner has repeatedly used language and words that are deemed inciting and intimidating to voters," he said.

Seng Bunveng, owner of ABC Radio, had repeatedly said on air that the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces would move to oust opposition leader Sam Rainsy if he won the Sunday's national elections. "The military will stage a coup if the opposition is to win because most soldiers are ultimately loyal to the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen," a local English newspaper, the Cambodia Daily, quoted Seng Bunveng as saying on air on Tuesday.

Some 9.67 million eligible voters will vote on Sunday.

Two major parties among the 8 contesting parties are the ruling Cambodian People's Party of longtime Prime Minister Hun Sen and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party of recently-pardoned leader Sam Rainsy.

In the last elections in July 2008, Hun Sen's party won 90 seats out of the 123 seats in the National Assembly, while the opposition group totally gained 29 seats. Endi

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