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CPP offers chance to ‘debate’

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CNRP president Kem Sokha (left), and officials Pol Ham, Mu Sochua and Eng Chhay Eang at an extraordinary congress in March where they were selected as deputy party presidents. Pha Lina

CPP offers chance to ‘debate’

An interior Ministry spokesman yesterday said the “door was open” for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party to pursue talks to resolve the ministry’s ruling that its three deputy presidents are illegitimate.

General Khieu Sopheak said the party could approach officials to “debate” the decision not to recognise the trio, which the ministry says is because their selection violates the CNRP’s own bylaws.

But he warned them to not immediately assert their interpretation of the rules as “correct” because then “the meeting would be useless”.

“If we meet we can listen to the ideas of each other,” Sopheak said. “We welcome an honest meeting.”

The issue stems from an extraordinary congress the CNRP held on March 2 to elevate Kem Sokha to president and Pol Ham, Mu Sochua and Eng Chhay Eang as deputies, following the resignation of former leader Sam Rainsy in February.

Rainsy stepped down to avoid his many seemingly politically motivated convictions being used to dissolve the party under controversial new laws.

The Interior Ministry initially also declared Kem Sokha illegitimate, though later reversed that decision.

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