Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Amid defections, PM offers taunts to CNRP

Amid defections, PM offers taunts to CNRP

Sith Ibrahim, president of the Khmer Islam Movement
Sith Ibrahim, president of the Khmer Islam Movement, announced he has defected from the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party in Phnom Penh yesterday. Vireak Mai

Amid defections, PM offers taunts to CNRP

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday claimed that several candidates and local officials from the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party had transferred their allegiances to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party in the past few days, with more defections to come.

“Yesterday there was a lawmaker candidate defection in Pursat province. Today there were defections in Kampot, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. . . and tomorrow, if there is no change, there would be defections in Kampong Cham and Kandal,” the premier said.

He added that the CNRP should not accuse the CPP of buying its candidates, because changing parties was within their political rights.

“They cannot live with all of you, so they ask to be with the Cambodian People’s Party,” he said.

Sith Ibrahim, president of the Khmer Islam Movement, announced yesterday that he and 45 followers had move from the CNRP to the CPP because of the CNRP’s alleged discrimination against Cham Muslims.

Ibrahim said he had declined to appear on the CNRP’s candidate list because the party had said it would list him below four other candidates in whichever province he ran in.

“They only would have let me stand number five in Siem Reap or Kampong Thom,” he said, referring to six-seat provinces where the CPP won five and four seats, respectively, in 2008.

“I told [the CNRP] any province was okay, provided that I would be elected,” he said. “But they did not listen; therefore, they discriminated against me.

“I did not join the CPP out of any interest, but whether Prime Minister Hun Sen offers me any position or not is his business,” added Ibrahim, who served as a Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker during the National Assembly’s second mandate and as a Funcinpec party secretary of state at the Ministry of Cults and Religion during the third.

You Sos Fatieny, another member of the Khmer Islam Movement who had been a CNRP reserve candidate in Pursat province, also said she had switched allegiance to the CPP because of the CNRP’s discrimination against Chams.

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann said yesterday that the party did not care about the defections and asserted that they were organised by the CPP.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all