Mam Sonando, the president of the Beehive Social Democratic Party and a member of the Supreme Consultative Council, yesterday said he will file a defamation lawsuit against exiled former opposition leader Sam Rainsy for criticising the council.
Mr Rainsy said on his Facebook page on Thursday that the council was created to legitimise Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government and accused political parties that joined the council of being puppets.
Mr Sonando said that members of the council will discuss filing the complaint against Mr Rainsy this week, noting that the comments made by Mr Rainsy were misleading the public.
“I will file the complaint on behalf of the Supreme Consultative Council against Sam Rainsy. I do not want him to distort the facts and spew what he feels without evidence,” he said. “It’s not only him who is democratic and knows how to lead the country. He would not stop if I didn’t file a complaint against him.”
Mr Sonando said that he is also planning to file a complaint with the United Nations against Mr Rainsy. He said that western countries deserve to know the real political situation in Cambodia aside from what Mr Rainsy portrays.
Mr Hun Sen initiated the council as a forum to gather input from political parties that contested in the national election in July in order to move the country forward together after his ruling CPP swept all 125 seats in the National Assembly.
Kong Monika, president of Khmer Will Party and a member of the council, said that Mr Sonando should instead take the route of a peaceful dialogue to respond to Mr Rainsy’s allegations.
Mr Monika noted that Mr Rainsy is a seasoned politician and that a dialogue with him would send a positive message to younger voters.
“I think Cambodian politicians should come up with a peaceful solution to settle problems and reach an acceptable conclusion,” Mr Monika said. “It would be an example for the next generation. We should not file lawsuits against each other.”
He added that the public should judge the council based on its own merits and not jump to conclusions.
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said yesterday that council members are currently carrying out missions separately rather than working as one team. Mr Chey said that the division will yield less than positive results.
“The members do not work as one team. They seem to have different tendencies, even though they are supposed to work together,” he said. “One more thing is that they only work on general problems that the public already knows about, so it is hard to attract attention to what they’re actually doing.”