The opposition CNRP confirmed yesterday the party will not prohibit its members of parliament or commune chiefs from defecting to the ruling CPP following a call from the Prime Minister for them to do so.
Opposition party vice-president Pol Ham said his party will not bar any members from defecting.
“It is their right,” he said. “We do not have any measures to prevent them.”
On Sunday Mr Hun Sen promised CNRP commune officials they could maintain their positions once their party is dissolved if they defect to the ruling CPP.
“Now I send a message to all CNRP commune officials, if you want to keep your positions you have to defect to the CPP,” Mr Hun Sen had said.
He added that he was 99.99 percent sure the CNRP would be dissolved for its treasonous acts of conspiring with the US to topple the government.
CNRP lawmaker Long Buny of Prey Veng province has already jumped ship, defecting to the CPP in the wake of the Prime Minister’s comments.
Mr Long Buny could not be reached for comment yesterday.
But opposition lawmaker Mao Moninvann said he will always support and remain with the CNRP.
“I have enough experience so my goal is to follow the will of the people,” Mr Monivann said.
To Sysaboth, a second commune councillor from the opposition in Stung Treng province, also announced yesterday his defection from the CNRP to join the CPP.
“As second deputy commune chief of Stung Treng commune, I would like to resign from the CNRP and join the CPP,” he said.
CNRP leader Kem Sokha has been charged with treason over comments made in 2013 video footage from Australia-based CBN news, which showed him saying the US government had been helping to push for regime change in Cambodia since 1993.
Mr Ham added that Mr Sokha has not yet asked lawyers to defend the case for the dissolution of the CNRP in the Supreme Court. The deadline for the opposition to respond to the matter is October 30.
“Until now, we have not yet asked lawyers to defend that case because Kem Sokha says it is politically motivated,” he said.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said he welcomes officials from the opposition CNRP to join the ruling CPP.
“If they do not defect to join the CPP they will lose their positions,” he said.
He added that the Supreme Court will follow its procedures regardless of the opposition CNRP assigning a representative to defend the party’s possible dissolution.