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.


  • Construction begins on $1.5B Kampot seaport

    The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre, principally invested by Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and projected to cost $1.5 billion, has officially broken ground in Bokor town, Kampot province. The multi-purpose logistics and port centre, located in Prek Tnaot commune, will be built on

  • Cambodia eyes key role in electronics, auto hubs in SEA

    Two roadmaps, part of the LDC’s economic diversification plan, were designed to see it through its migration process, but experts say the journey might be arduous, particularly in the presence of two established hubs in the region By 2028, Cambodia hopes to have exited the

  • Hun Neng, lawmaker and PM’s brother, passes away aged 72

    Hun Neng, chairman of the 4th Commission of the National Assembly, has passed away from heart disease at the age of 72 on the afternoon of May 5, according to the Ministry of Information. Hun Neng is the older brother of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and was

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM meets with US business giants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with a number of major US companies who have expressed interest in investing in Cambodia, in a meeting convened by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC). A delegation of companies – including Amazon, Meta, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ford, Visa and Pernod

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with