Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy has accused a CNRP lawmaker and several members of betraying the party after a list of candidates for the Senate elections was signed off by jailed CNRP president Kem Sokha last week.
In a Facebook video on Monday, Mr Rainsy said the CPP was trying to stage a coup within the CNRP by changing its leaders.
“They have bought a small number of the CNRP’s leaders,” he said “These are about four to 10 people among our parliamentarians and steering committee.”
Mr Rainsy said Kampong Cham province lawmaker Mao Monyvann was one of those working on orders from Prime Minister Hun Sen, but did not identify others allegedly involved.
The claims came after CNRP vice-president Pol Ham and Mr Monyvann confirmed Mr Sokha had endorsed a list of candidates for the Senate elections, in line with party regulations.
Mr Monyvann was earlier this year implicated in leaks about a government-backed plot to oust Mr Rainsy from the CNRP and replace him with Mr Sokha.
Mr Rainsy yesterday accused Mr Monyvann of “cheap” acts to betray the party, calling on CNRP members to leave the country to avoid pressure from the CPP.
Many CNRP parliamentarians and members have fled, including vice-presidents Eng Chhay Eang and Mu Sochua.
The party’s third vice-president Pol Ham and Mr Monyvann, acting chief of the CNRP’s executive committee, are in interim control of the party.
Mr Rainsy last week wrote to Mr Sokha telling him any decisions made on behalf of the party should be carried out with the consensus of three of Ms Sochua, Mr Chhay Eang, and CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann.
“Decisions made under duress by jailed president Kem Sokha are not valid. Under the present circumstances, only the CNRP Standing Committee members – more than two thirds of whom are now abroad – can represent the party,” Mr Rainsy added.
Mr Monyvann was in 2011 expelled from the Sam Rainsy Party. He joined the Human Rights Party, led by Mr Sokha.
Mr Monyvann yesterday denied Mr Rainsy’s allegations, saying Mr Rainsy was a convicted felon and no longer a CNRP member.