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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Funcinpec HQ spat deepens

Funcinpec HQ spat deepens

Secretary General of Funcinpec Nhek Bun Chhay speaks to reporters in May 2009.

A senior Funcinpec party official who has accused the party’s Secretary General Nhek Bun Chhay of selling the party’s headquarters without authorisation says he also has evidence that Nhek Bun Chhay improperly mortgaged the property for US$2 million.

Phan Chantha, a former Funcinpec lawmaker and current committee member, said yesterday that he had documents proving that Nhek Bun Chhay mortgaged the property prior to its sale.

According to documents dated September 2010 and obtained by The Post yesterday, Nhek Bun Chhay mortgaged the property at Canadia Bank for three months for $2 million.

Along with the mortgage contract, Nhek Bun Chhay attached a report outlining the result of a September 9 meeting of the party’s permanent committee, Phan Chantha said, but did not attach any authorisation from the central committee.

“I would like Nhek Bun Chhay to show me all reports of the meeting and a joint decision of the central committee,” Phan Chantha said. “There was no decision from the central committee.”

He added that the permanent committee met prior to the mortgage and sale of the party’s headquarters, but added that no joint decision was made agreeing to either action.

“We would like him to respect the party’s conditions and central committee decisions,” he said.

On Wednesday, Phan Chantha told reporters that Nhek Bun Chhay had sold the building for $3.85 million and purchased a new property in Kandal province, both without the necessary authorisation.

“This sale is completely contrary to the condition of the party,” he said.

When contacted yesterday, Nhek Bun Chhay again dismissed Phan Chantha’s claims, saying that before he mortgaged the property, the permanent committee met many times and decided to mortgage and sell the property because the current location was too small.

He also said the profits from the proceeds of the sale were intended to help the party’s tilt at elections in 2012 and 2013.

“That’s why the permanent committee has decided to change headquarters. And after the decision, the permanent committee took this issue to the central committee because we want plenty of transparency,” Nhek Bun Chhay said.

Nhek Bun Chhay invited Phan Chantha and all other party members to scrutinise all reports and documents involving the headquarters, but said he cannot make them public.

“Nowadays everything must be decided by the permanent committee. A president or secretary general cannot sign without a decision of the permanent committee,” Nhek Bun Chhay said.



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