More sex scandal claims

Taing Vida / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Opposition members Ho Vann (left) and Yem Ponhearith, who have both been accused of improprieties involving the opposite sex. KT/Mai Vireak

New claims of sexual impropriety are now being leveled at members of the opposition, just as the alleged sex scandal involving their leader Kem Sokha was dying down.
 
However, members of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) say the latest claims are just another attempt by the government to disrupt their efforts ahead of coming elections.
 
The new allegations were spread on social media earlier this week through written statements and audio recordings from an anonymous Facebook user going by the name Seyha – almost identical to the way Mr. Sokha’s alleged scandal came to light.
 
Despite the spurious nature of the allegations, the National Assembly (NA) has decided to open an official investigation into the claims.
 
Prime Minister Hun Sen aired the unverified accusations in parliament on Tuesday, which involve claims that a member of the opposition had sex with his secretary in an NA bathroom.
 
The premier said the allegations were serious enough to warrant an inquiry.
 
Facebook user Seyha released information accusing CNRP parliamentarian Chan Cheng of having an affair with opposition party official Pot Pov, while party spokesman Yim Sovann was alleged to be in a relationship with Ly Sreyvina, another lawmaker.
 
The Facebook user also claimed opposition party member Long Ry was having an affair with a CNRP activist.
 
These latest accusations follow claims aired earlier this week that opposition member Eng Chhay Eang had relapsed in his fight against a gambling addiction.
 
Senior party leader Ho Vann has also been accused of having sex with “many” garment workers and it was alleged that party spokesman Yem Ponhearith had sex with his assistant in an NA bathroom.
 
Both Mr. Ponhearith and Mr. Vann could not be reached for comment yesterday.
 
Mr. Sovann told Khmer Times he did not care about the “fake” allegations and Mr. Chhai Eang said earlier that he was not surprised by the accusations.
 
He has no plans to file a lawsuit against the person behind the allegations because the court would never offer justice to the opposition, he said.
 
In a Facebook post, Mr. Sokha said that as the elections approached, he and other party members were not surprised by ruling party attempts to damage their names and reputations with more allegations.
 
“We need to focus on our work to achieve goals, which is the desire of the Cambodian people. We are moving to elections to bring positive change,” he wrote.
 
Leng Peng Long, the spokesman for the NA, told Khmer Times that he will investigate the accusations and notify the public, but added that he would not investigate the Facebook account of Seyha to see who was behind it.
 
“We will investigate by asking people there and come to a conclusion from the findings,” he said. “This is a personal problem and the assembly does not have any internal regulations or laws to punish them with.”
 
The ruling party spent most of last year criticizing Mr. Sokha and the opposition party over his alleged affair with hairdresser Khom Chandaraty.
 
The case ended up in the courts when the government arrested local NGO officials who tried to help Ms. Chandaraty before she was interrogated by police.
 
There was also an attempt to arrest Mr. Sokha for refusing to discuss the issue and ignoring orders to appear in court for questioning.
 
He spent from May to November under de facto house arrest when a deal was struck to pardon him and another opposition official involved in the case.
 
He had been convicted of failing to appear in court for questioning and faced five months in prison. He spent six months holed up in the CNRP headquarters to avoid arrest before King Norodom Sihamoni issued the pardon.
 
The NGO officials detained – now known as the “Adhoc Five” – are still in prison and a Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge recently extended their pre-trial detention by another six months.
 
Members of the opposition are not the only officials to have been involved in alleged sex scandals.
 
Last year, CPP Senator Keo Maly and three-star general Seak Socheat were accused of carrying on an extramarital affair. Ms. Maly was never investigated by the NA and sued the two people who made the accusations on Facebook.
 
Both were convicted of defamation and forced to pay hefty fines.

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