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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - SRP slams Senate-bid rumours

SRP slams Senate-bid rumours

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SRP lawmaker Mu Sochua speaks to reporters outside the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh in August.

A Sam Rainsy Party spokesman yesterday dismissed a local media report alleging its 25 MPs would resign to boycott the next parliamentary session, amidst speculation of internal strife within the main opposition party.

A report on pro-government website DAP News said the SRP was aiming to ensure the National Assembly would lack the quorum of MPs necessary to pass legislation.

SRP spokesman Yim Sovann said the report was false and failed to “quote from the ... party spokesman”.  “What I say is the official SRP position,” he said.

The DAP report comes amid media speculation of friction within the party, and allegations that internal bickering is driving the selection of MPs who will give up their seats to run for the Senate.   

Mu Sochua, a senior SRP lawmaker, dismissed allegations that SRP MPs sympathetic to a merger with the Human Rights Party were being shifted to the Senate. “I don’t know where all these rumours are coming from,” she said.

“There is no purge. There is no punishment [of MPs]. There is no house-cleaning. This [move to gain Senate seats] has been planned for a year,” she said, adding that the SRP, which has two Senate seats, was looking to gain eight or nine more.

Yim Sovann confirmed some SRP lawmakers would vacate their seats to stand as candidates for the Senate election in January and said a decision would be made next week.

Mu Sochua reiterated that reports that she would resign to run for the Senate were false, saying her name had been on the potential list of candidates. “We all volunteered [to be on the list] and there was a selection process,” she said.

Keat Sukun, vice president of the smaller opposition Human Rights Party, said that any internal strife within the SRP threatened the HRP as well. “If the SRP is destroyed we would be the next to go,” he said. “Cambodia has never had a history of successful coalitions,” he said. “We need a coalition that works after an election and not just before one.”

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