Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP meets with supporters, EU delegation

CNRP meets with supporters, EU delegation

Acting CNRP leader Kem Sokha greets the EU ambassador to Cambodia, George Edgar, last week at the party’s Phnom Penh headquarters in Meanchey district. Photo supplied
Acting CNRP leader Kem Sokha greets the EU ambassador to Cambodia, George Edgar, last week at the party’s Phnom Penh headquarters in Meanchey district. Photo supplied

CNRP meets with supporters, EU delegation

The embattled Cambodia National Rescue Party held two events with party supporters yesterday, organising a religious ceremony in Siem Reap and meeting with CNRP youth in the capital.

The events came two days after opposition leader Kem Sokha met with a delegation from the EU, which has been the most outspoken international critic of the ongoing scandal surrounding the deputy party president, calling it “judicial harassment”.

Speaking to close to 200 youth supporters from the provinces at CNRP headquarters, party lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang again accused the Cambodian People’s Party of paving the way for abuse of the constitution by allowing court proceedings against Kem Sokha and the jailing of opposition lawmakers Um Sam An and Hong Sok Hour. “All these point to a political [motive],” he said. “The best way for resolution is to talk.”

He also questioned the 20-year sentence handed out to party activist Meach Sovannara for his alleged role in a protest turned violent at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park in 2014, comparing it to the one-year sentences given to three members of the prime minister’s Bodyguard Unit for beating up two lawmakers outside the National Assembly last year. “Can we accept this? How can we?” Chhay Eang said.

Sokha has been holed up at the CNRP headquarters since an attempt by police to arrest him on May 26 following his refusal to honour multiple court summonses. The summonses stemmed from questionable court cases surrounding an alleged sex scandal that have also seen four rights workers, an election official and a local opposition official jailed.

In Siem Reap yesterday, party lawmakers and supporters conducted a religious ceremony near Angkor Wat, praying for national reconciliation and respect of parliamentary immunity.

Speaking to reporters, CNRP lawmaker Pol Ham said the ceremony was held so that the two major national parties could find a solution to the current political deadlock.

“Between Khmer and Khmer, we have had many times of conflict – war and political – and we could resolve them,” Ham said. “When we see a problem we find the medicine, and we work together to pave the way to have free, fair and just elections.”

On Friday, EU Ambassador George Edgar met with Sokha, with the besieged opposition leader reportedly informing the ambassador about the current political crisis. The EU delegation in Phnom Penh could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Political activist Thy Sovantha speaks to local villagers in Oddar Meanchey province on Saturday during a public forum. Facebook
Political activist Thy Sovantha speaks to local villagers in Oddar Meanchey province on Saturday during a public forum. Facebook

Meanwhile, social media darling Thy Sovantha – who sued Sokha after being mentioned in the leaked phone recordings that first gave rise to the scandal – held a forum on Saturday, ostensibly about “Citizen’s Rights and Community Development”, where she heavily criticised the CNRP, singling out Sokha. “Don’t vote for Kem Sokha; if Kem Sokha leads the CNRP, don’t vote for the CNRP,” said Sovantha, who runs an NGO called Youthful Social Affairs.

Yesterday, she said she had the right to convene such public forums under the auspices of the NGO, which has taken up the cause of orphans, even if she did use them to make political statements. “I am an NGO official and have the right to criticise all politicians,” she said. “The law does not forbid me from criticising politicians.”

Under the Kingdom’s controversial new NGO Law, organisations are required to maintain strict political neutrality. Chhim Kan, an Interior Ministry official responsible for NGO registrations, said the ministry would take action only if there was a complaint.


  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Courts’ decisions now published as reference source

    The Ministry of Justice has published 44 verdicts from civil litigation cases which can be used as models for court precedents and for study by the public and those who work in pertinent fields. Publication of the verdicts on December 31 came as the result of joint

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • China firm to develop Mondulkiri airport

    Tourism to the Kingdom’s northeast corridor could experience a remarkable metamorphosis after the government decided in principle of a Chinese company to study and develop a proposal to build a regional-level airport in Mondulkiri province, according to industry insiders. The Council of Ministers said

  • More than 5K workers rush from Thailand amid outbreak

    Following the recent outbreak of Covid-19 in Thailand’s Samut Sakhon province, Cambodian migrants working in Thailand were gripped by worry over the situation and many rushed to return to their homeland. Over the past 10 days, more than 5,000 migrant workers have returned from Thailand through