List sets out top CNRP targets

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
CNRP lawmaker Ngim Nheng has dismissed claims he would defect to the ruling CPP. Supplied

The majority of senior opposition CNRP standing and steering committee members are on a list of those who will be banned from politics for five years if the party is dissolved.

The list seen yesterday counted 125 opposition  members and comes as the party attempts to deal with internal problems.

Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy has accused several senior members of betraying the party after proposed candidates for the Senate elections were signed off by jailed CNRP president Kem Sokha last week.

The list of politicians to be banned includes figures from both sides of the party, including Mr Rainsy and his wife, as well as Mr Sokha and his daughter.

From a live-stream on Saturday, Prime Minister Hun Sen declared himself “ready to bet his life” on the dissolution of the CNRP by the Supreme Court. “Not only will the party be dissolved, but more than 100 CNRP members will be banned from politics for five years,” the Prime Minister said.

Mr Rainsy urged municipal, provincial, district and commune councillors elected under the CNRP’s banner not to be fooled by Mr Hun Sen’s call for them to join the CPP.

Mr Rainsy said that defectors would not be able to return to the CNRP when it is not dissolved, nor would they get CPP positions.

As some CNRP councillors continue to defect to the CPP, a letter posted on social media claimed opposition lawmaker Ngim Nheng asked to join the ruling party due to the opposition’s internal struggles.

Mr Nheng condemned the letter as a fake.

“I, Ngim Nheng, CNRP lawmaker, would like to deny the content of the fake letter spreading lies about me,” he said. ​“I ask authorities to investigate and arrest the perpetrator in accordance with the law.

“I would absolutely not betray the will of the voters.”

CNRP lawmaker Long Buny of Prey Veng province made the news last month by jumping ship alongside dozens of councillors, defecting to the CPP in the wake of the Prime Minister’s comments.

San Chey, the executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, urged police to investigate and arrest people he deemed responsible for creating a toxic political environment.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan dismissed Mr Rainsy’s claims the CNRP would not be dissolved.

“Sam Rainsy is worsening the political situation while he no longer has any role in the opposition party,” Mr Eysan said.

“The law requires that  party leaders and steering committee members lose all positions and are banned from politics for five years once the party is dissolved. Now we wait for the court to decide on November 16.”

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