Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Adhoc official makes it official



Adhoc official makes it official

Adhoc officer Latt Ky (left) visits Adhoc provincial coordinator Chhay Thy (centre right) in Ratanakkiri province yesterday. Photo supplied
Adhoc officer Latt Ky (left) visits Adhoc provincial coordinator Chhay Thy (centre right) in Ratanakkiri province yesterday. Photo supplied

Adhoc official makes it official

Prominent Adhoc staffer and vocal government critic Chhay Thy officially resigned from the rights group yesterday, days after confirming that he had applied to represent the ruling party in the upcoming commune elections.

Earlier this week, it emerged that the group’s longtime Ratanakkiri coordinator had applied to run as a commune chief candidate for the Cambodian People’s Party in the province’s Pate commune.

The surprise announcement, which came with four of Thy’s Adhoc colleagues in jail on charges widely decried as politically motivated, was met on Tuesday with calls by the group for an explanation. They got it face to face yesterday.

Thy met with two senior Adhoc staffers – Latt Ky and Sam Chankea – who asked him to confirm if he was joining the CPP and to inform him he could not pursue both options at the same time as it was against the NGO’s policy.

Thy said he informed the two, who had travelled to the province from Phnom Penh, that he had already planned to resign. He then provided them with a letter of resignation.

“My experiences with Adhoc have pushed and encouraged me to be willing to engage in politics,” the letter reads.

“So, I ask to resign from the coordinator position in Ratanakkiri to compete for the position of commune chief from the CPP quota.”

On Monday, Thy said about 90 commune councillors had cast ballots in a secret vote to select the next commune chief candidate, but that the results had yet to be announced. The vote was part of the CPP’s nationwide directive to conduct primary-like elections to pick party candidates.

Thy goes into the elections a popular figure given his extensive work with the Jarai ethnic minority community.

“I hope the Jarai community will vote for me even though the CNRP has won the last two mandates,” he said.

Following the meeting with Thy, Chankea, who is the group’s spokesman, said the now-former staffer had no option but to quit if he wanted to purse political ambitions.

He now has the rest of the month to hand over projects he was working on, he added.

“We do not want him to resign from Adhoc, because he is a good and brave person,” Chankea said. “We want him to continue but we have no right to stop him.”

Asked on Monday why he chose the CPP, Thy had said the presence of a strong CNRP candidate in the commune had led him to consider joining the ruling party.

Roman Yuot, the sitting commune chief, said he was faced with a barrage of queries from villagers over Thy’s decision to leave his work at Adhoc, where he has long worked on land disputes, illegal logging issues and ethnic minority rights.

“I said I do not know either,” Yuot said. “Anyway, the results of the election will depend on what the people want.”

Jarai villager Sal Lap, 37, said he was disappointed to hear of Thy’s resignation.

“We are so sorry to hear that, because he helped us when we have a land dispute problem and he solved it. I don’t want him to stop,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and