Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Nhek Bun Chhay denies telling his supporters to vote CNRP

Nhek Bun Chhay denies telling his supporters to vote CNRP

KNUP leader Nhek Bun Chhay, photographed at his home on Monday in Phnom Penh. Facebook
KNUP leader Nhek Bun Chhay, photographed at his home on Monday in Phnom Penh. Facebook

Nhek Bun Chhay denies telling his supporters to vote CNRP

Two different narratives emerged yesterday about a telephone call between opposition lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang and former Military Commander Nhek Bun Chhay, who was recently fired as a government adviser amid rumours he had made overtures about merging his minor party into the opposition.

According to interviews with both men by news outlet Voice of America, the telephone conversation took place on June 3. Yet Bun Chhay said the call was an accident and that he had thought he was speaking to someone with a similar name to Chhay Eang from his own Khmer National United Party.

Chhay Eang said that Bun Chhay had called him to offer to tell his supporters to vote for the Cambodia National Rescue Party wherever the KNUP did not field candidates at the June 4 commune elections.

“I was not interested, if he has supporters [in those communes] he would field a candidate,” said Chhay Eang, who could not be reached for further comment.

Bun Chhay, who also could not be reached, strenuously denied ever making such an overture.

He said that on June 3 he had received a call from Y Kim Eng, the head of the KNUP working group in Kampong Thom province’s Baray district, who wanted advice about what to do in several communes where the party had no candidates. He said he told him he was busy and would call back later.

Later unable to reach the official, Bun Chhay said that he was then given a new number for Kim Eng, which in fact turned out to be Eng Chhay Eang’s phone number. “I called him and said ‘Eng’, and [he] replied back that he is Eng,” said Chhay, who added he never suggested anyone vote for the CNRP.

“I did not use the words Cambodia National Rescue Party in the phrase – I said that in the places that we have no candidates, vote for [anyone] and [told] Eng: ‘Do not tell any people’” what party to vote for.

Bun Chhay, who was stripped of his government adviser job on the day of the June 4 commune elections, also denied reports that his house in Phnom Penh had been surrounded by armed authorities.

He said that the trucks that arrived at his home had come to take back his bodyguards, as they were soldiers from the military’s Brigade 70 and were withdrawn after he lost his government position.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports