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Party leader disavows ‘PM letter’

People Power Party (PPP) founder and president Kan Virak has allegedly submitted a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen asking for a year’s worth of financial support, and one car, in order to relaunch the party in an attempt to split the vote for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).

According to the letter, which was sent on December 17 and obtained yesterday, Virak asked Hun Sen for permission to once again engage in political activities from the start of this year.

“Please, Samdech, provide me with a budget and a car and give me the opportunity to support a head office for a one-year operation,” the letter reads.

It goes on to state that because the opposition had joined the National Assembly, the PPP and its working group had an opportunity to relaunch and gain votes from citizens and activists dissatisfied with the CNRP.

“As a former confidant . . . of Sam Rainsy’s party, and as a second-cousin of [CNRP deputy president] Kem Sokha, I think it’s obvious that nobody knows them better than me, and for this I can criticise the CNRP,” it reads. “I believe the PPP is a party that can make the CNRP’s popularity plummet in the communes, and for the general elections next term.”

Kan Virak, however, denied writing the letter and said yesterday that he didn’t know where it came from.

“I was accused by the prime minister of cheating him out of $15,000, so why would I ask him for more money?” he said, referring to a 2013 speech by the premier that didn’t result in legal action.

“I’m considering whether to make a statement or to file a complaint” about the letter, he said.

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