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Ex-PM Pen Sovann had stroke, colleagues say

Opposition lawmaker and one-time prime minister Pen Sovann suffered a stroke yesterday, Cambodia National Rescue Party officials said.

CNRP lawmaker Mu Sochua said yesterday evening that Sovann, a 78-year-old lawmaker for Kampong Speu, was in stable condition in hospital but was being sent abroad for further medical treatment.

“He’s on his way to Singapore. It’s a minor stroke for sure,” she said, adding further tests would be conducted.

Muth Chantha, cabinet chief for CNRP deputy president Kem Sokha, said CNRP leaders “are paying their highest attention to this”.

In a statement, Sokha called for “immediate” help from supporters to assist Sovann’s treatment.

Sovann was prime minister of the Hanoi-backed People’s Republic of Kampuchea from June to December 1981.

He was then jailed after suggesting that Cambodia create a military independent from Vietnam and spent more than 10 years in prison.

Sovann officially returned to politics last year when the CNRP entered parliament, having won a seat in Kampong Speu at the July 2013 election.

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