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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CPP denies PM sent threatening messages

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CPP spokesman Sok Eysan (pictured) yesterday denied Hun Sen had sent messages to Kem Sokha. Heng Chivoan

CPP denies PM sent threatening messages

A spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party yesterday denied Prime Minister Hun Sen had sent messages to acting opposition leader Kem Sokha threatening bloodshed in response to protests against his son in Australia.

As revealed by the Post yesterday, two messages were allegedly sent to the Cambodia National Rescue Party deputy president via WhatsApp mid last week after Cambodians in Australia vowed to confront Hun Manet in Melbourne, according to three opposition lawmakers.

The first warned of bloodshed and made a veiled reference to the attack on two CNRP lawmakers last year outside parliament by troops from the premier’s bodyguard unit. The second cautioned the party against denying involvement in the demonstrations.

However, speaking yesterday, CPP spokesman Sok Eysan accused the Cambodia National Rescue Party of inventing the threats as an excuse not to end their parliamentary boycott.

“There is no such thing,” Eysan said.

The CNRP has not officially responded to the messages, though has disclosed that a threat to lawmakers’ safety prompted them to cancel plans to rejoin the National Assembly last Friday.

Party spokesman Yim Sovann yesterday said he had “no comment” to make, while Kem Monovithya, Sokha’s eldest daughter and CNRP’s deputy head of public affairs, did not respond to a request for comment.

However, one opposition lawmaker, who requested anonymity, dismissed Eysan’s denial, saying Sokha had directly shown senior opposition lawmakers the correspondence from the premier.

“I had a look at [the messages] . . . not just me but other high-ranking lawmakers – they’re genuine,” the lawmaker said.“It is not a thing we would want to make up.”

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