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Eng Chhay Eang to give up position as SRP secretary general

Eng Chhay Eang to give up position as SRP secretary general

The opposition stalwart will step aside for the second time in three years but only after the party’s election complaints have been resolved

OPPOSITION lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang plans to resign as secretary general of the Sam Rainsy Party, but only after the party's complaints about the conduct of last month's national election have been resolved, party officials say.

"Eng Chhay Eang has not decided to quit his position immediately, but after the resolution of the election complaints he plans to resign," said SRP Senator Thach Setha, speaking on behalf of the secretary general.

Mu Sochua, SRP deputy secretary general, said the party had received no official notification of Eng Chhay Eang's impending resignation.

"That is his own wish and his own decision," she said Tuesday.

She added that the party was  currently entirely focused on gathering evidence that the ruling Cambodian People's Party committed electoral fraud through the manipulation of voter lists  and the misuse of 10-18 forms during the election period.

This will be the second time Eng Chhay Eang has resigned the post of secretary general during his 13-year career with the party.

After occupying the post for six years, he resigned in late 2005, citing health issues and a problem with gambling.

He was reelected to the position in September 2007, drawing complaints from SRP-affiliated trade unions that his history of gambling would harm the party's image in the run-up to the 2008 elections.

"This resignation is not related to gambling," said Thach Setha, adding that Eng Chhay Eang was quitting because the heavy responsibilities of the position were becoming a burden.

Koul Panha, executive director of election monitor Comfrel, said he did not know the exact  reason for Eng Chhay Eang's resignation.

But he said the party was now  looking to move forward after an election that saw large gains for the CPP.

"I think the SRP intends to establish a coalition and a new strategy for future elections, and they might need new people to work on that," he said.

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