Former CPP critic Serey Kosal defects, voices praise for PM Hun Sen
Photo by: HENG CHIVOAN
Serey Kosal on Tuesday just after his defection to the CPP was announced.
Funcinpec stalwart throws in the towel and defects to ruling partySEREY
Kosal, a former Funcinpec resistance commander and long-time critic of
Prime Minister Hun Sen, announced on Tuesday his defection to the
ruling Cambodian People's Party following a year of political setbacks.
"I see that Funcinpec could not unite itself since the party was
seriously divided and losing popularity following the [national
election] on July 27," he told the Post Tuesday.
"After 20 years of opposing the Vietnamese-backed CPP, I now recognise
the achievement of the national and international policies of the CPP."
During the factional fighting of 1997, Serey Kosal commanded troops
loyal to Funcinpec and describes himself as having been a "hardline"
opponent of Hun Sen and the CPP since the early 1980s.
But he now lauds the CPP's approach to national unity, pursued through
the integration of politicians of all political persuations without
discrimination towards former opponents.
"Hun Sen was angrier with me than he was with the other members in Funcinpec, and now he still welcomes me," he said.
spokesman Khieu Kanharith confirmed Tuesday that Serey Kosal had joined
the CPP and would be given the post of senior minister.
"The CPP is a party with good discipline, so people want to work with it," he said.
Socheath, adviser to Funcinpec President Keo Puthrasmey, was concerned
the steady defection of senior party members to the CPP would hurt the
party at the 2013 national elections, but said the party still had the
ability to rebuild.