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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Beleaguered NRP dealt fresh blow with two high-profile defections

Beleaguered NRP dealt fresh blow with two high-profile defections

NRP leader Chhim Seakleng (pictured) has received two resignation letters this week.
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Party seeks to minimise damage, saying it ousted the pair of defectors several months ago.

Photo by: HENG CHIVOAN

NRP leader Chhim Seakleng (pictured) has received two resignation letters this week.

TWO high-ranking officials in the minority opposition Norodom Ranariddh Party (NRP) have defected to the ruling Cambodian People's Party claiming the NRP lacks vision and leadership.

Suth Dina, the NRP's former spokesman, and Sun Sokunmealea, the party's former head of the Royalist Women's Movement, sent resignation letters sent to NRP Acting President Chhim Seakleng in the past week.

In their letters, which were obtained by the Post on Wednesday, the two said they had made substantial sacrifices over the years and ignored their personal interests.

"It is highly regrettable that the party leaders lack leadership and have not changed the failures in their characters," said Suth Dina in his letter dated June 18. "I have served almost half of my life in politics, fighting first with weapons and then through political means, and led demonstrations against injustice, corruption and border violence. It is now time to relax."

But Pen Sangha, a spokesman for the NRP, which has two seats in the National Assembly, dismissed the criticisms in the letters.

He said the two had been ousted several months ago after causing ruptures in the party. He claimed the letters were a way to remove the stigma of being sacked.

That assertion was rejected by Sun Sokunmealea - the former deputy president of the Khmer Front Party that later morphed into the NRP.

She said her backers had moved against allies of Chhim Seakleng and NRP Secretary General You Hockry.

"We wanted them ousted from the party because the NRP was our party, created by our people," she said, adding that the current NRP leadership comprises old politicians who lack ideas. She predicted more NRP officials would defect to the CPP.

Sun Sokunmealea has reportedly accepted a position on the Economic, Social and Cultural Council at the Council of Ministers.

She could not be reached Wednesday for comment.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said he did not know what her position would be. It is not known whether Suth Dina has been offered a government post.

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