Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Six more defections to CPP

Six more defections to CPP

Five CNRP members including opposition lawmaker and Ratanakiri province candidate Rin Kanha (right) announce their decision to defect to the CPP.
Five CNRP members including opposition lawmaker and Ratanakiri province candidate Rin Kanha (right) announce their decision to defect to the CPP at a press conference in Phnom Penh. HENG CHIVOAN

Six more defections to CPP

RIN Kanha was set to be a Cambodia National Rescue Party candidate for Ratanakkiri province in the upcoming national election.

But all that changed yesterday when he and five of his fellow members defected to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, claiming they believed it had a better vision for the country’s future and more chance of running it effectively.

“These inexperienced [CNRP] candidates do not have the credentials,” Kanha said at a press conference in Phnom Penh yesterday.

Kanha added that the CNRP’s political platform was weak and the party did not have the capacity to lead the country. Furthermore, he said, since the merger of the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party, the opposition had failed to establish a clear vision.

“I joined [the CPP] by my own free will,” he said, adding he simply believed it was the better party and expediency had not played a part in his decision.

The 32-year-old has been actively involved in opposition politics since 2002.

Less than two weeks ago, he made headlines when complaining that commune authorities and Vietnamese agro-concessionaire Hoang Anh Lumphat were giving “election” gifts to hundreds of families in the province.

“Commune authorities wore hats with a CPP logo to get support for votes,” Kanha said at the time.

Defections to the ruling party are common at this stage of a Cambodian election, and CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann seemed to be taking the latest ones in stride yesterday, saying he cared little about them.

“There is nothing interesting about this. It is the same as always – it’s a trick carried out by the Cambodian People’s Party,” Sovann said. Chum Kosal, a high-level CPP official and adviser to Prime Minister Hun Sen, dismissed suggestions that his party had paid the members to defect.

“Whenever anyone from the opposition joins the Cambodian People’s Party, it is the opposition party’s habit to accuse us of orchestrating it,” he said.


  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all