King Norodom Sihamoni has issued a royal decree officially terminating three former Democratic Republic Party officials from the Supreme Consultative Council, where they served as members.
The decree, obtained yesterday, was issued on April 24 and terminated Sovan Panchak Seila, Chan Pheap, and Chanmony Leaksmey from the SCC.
Chhim Phal Virun, chief of the SCC secretariat, yesterday said the removals were requested by the DRP, which is now named the Khmer Independent Mohanokor Party.
“The secretariat received the request in December, and issued a letter to prohibit these people’s activities in relation to the council,” Mr Phal Virun said. “KIMP has already submitted new candidates to fill these positions. We are now waiting for approval from the King.”
The SCC was initiated by Prime Minister Hun Sen in August in order to gather input from political parties that contested the national election.
Mr Phal Virun said KIMP nominated party president Chan Yet and two others to become SCC members during a party congress last year.
Mr Yet yesterday said the three former party members were sacked due to legal troubles in court.
He said Ms Panchak Seila was arrested last month and put in pre-trial detention after she was accused of inciting citizens to encroach upon land in a national park.
“The party removed Ms Panchak Seila from the presidential position last year. We told her not to do anything illegal in the name of the party, but she ruined our reputation,” Mr Yet said. “The party will not take action to assist her because she committed crimes.”
Ms Panchak Seila was arrested, along with Mr Pheap and Ms Leaksmey, on April 9 after police identified them as suspects behind a protest calling for the release of 14 land activists.
SCC member Kong Monika, Khmer Will Party president, yesterday said he feels regret over Ms Panchak Seila’s actions.
“She should have dealt with the problem in a peaceful way. She could have reported this to the SCC, and we would have requested to conduct an investigation,” Mr Monika said. “Leading a protest against the authorities was not a good choice.”