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Kem Sokha’s assistant sacked for comments

An assistant to opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party vice president Kem Sokha at the centre of a controversy over alleged corruption by CNRP leader Sam Rainsy has been dismissed from the party.

Ou Chanrith, the chairman of the CNRP’s disciplinary committee, said that Lak Sopheap had claimed in a meeting on Monday that she had been misquoted in the media.

Sopheap reportedly claimed on Saturday that Sokha had accused Rainsy of accepting $20 million to negotiate with Prime Minister Hun Sen during the political deadlock earlier this year.

“The committee asked what she said . . . and she said it’s not true,” Chanrith said. “I asked, if the media printed the wrong information, then respond to the media. She asked for some time to respond, but I have not heard from her.”

“[Yesterday] morning we decided to dismiss her from the party because what she said has damaged the reputation of the party,” he added.

Sopheap called the dismissal unfair during a press conference yesterday morning.

“What’s important is that I am a member of the central committee, a founder [and have worked] in the political section for 20 years. I will not walk out of the political party and I am still a member of the central committee,” she said.

Chanrith disagreed with Sopheap’s claim that he did not have the power to dismiss her. “The disciplinary committee has the right to decide [to dismiss her]. So it does not need to ask permission from the permanent committee or the party leaders,” he said.

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