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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mouly warns Son Sann supporters of arrests

Mouly warns Son Sann supporters of arrests

T AKEO - Buddhist Liberal Democratic Party (BLDP) faction leader Ieng Mouly has

warned supporters not to attend rival leader Son Sann's planned party congress,

or face arrest.

Mouly said he considered the congress would be illegal,

and he believed the authorities would look at it in the same light.

"I

have already filed a complaint [about the congress] to the

government.

"If you go, you will be in trouble. If you are against the

party, you'll be arrested," Mouly told a BLDP conference in a Takeo theater Aug

27.

The conference was the first in a series Mouly said he planned to

hold around Cambodia, as he fights Son Sann for total control of the

party.

The conference voted, by a show of hands, to expel BLDP Takeo MP

Kem Sokha, a Son Sann supporter, as president of the party's provincial

branch.

The new president was announced as Dr Meas Yon, while Ma Sam was

appointed his first deputy.

Pong Khemra, the former first deputy, told a

crowd of about 500 people that he would replace Kem Sokha in the National

Assembly when the MP lost his seat.

Ieng Mouly has said he intends to ask

the National Assembly to expel Sokha and five other BLDP MPs on the basis they

are no longer party members.

Mouly, in his nearly two-hour long speech to

the Takeo conference, defended the legality of his own party congress in July,

which passed a vote of no confidence in Son Sann and his main

supporters.

Mouly said the congress was legal because the government had

supported it.

"Hun Sen sent a letter to [offer] support and to mark the

congress and the First Prime Minister also showed his support [by making a

statement] through television and radio broadcasting."

Mouly recalled the

festering internal rift between himself and Son Sann. He said Son Sann had

treated him so badly since the 1993 election that he could no longer tolerate

it.

Sokha, in Takeo on the same day, criticized Mouly for saying that

people who attended Son Sann's congress would be arrested.

"I think that

his speech is a cheat, a lie and a threat to the rights of our citizens. I hope

the government would not do what he says."

Sokha said some of the people

at Mouly's conference, who had spoken against him (Sokha), came to apologize to

him later that day.

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