Funcinpec claims news anchor ‘attacked' party.
FUNCINPEC Secretary General Nhek Bun Chhay says his party members are to stage a protest outside the studio of television network CTN this Saturday because the network's popular news anchor, Soy Sopheap, keeps "attacking" his party.
The royalist leader told the Post Monday that his party's patience was "wearing thin" with what he believed were regular derogatory comments about the party by the station's commentator.
"We will not be patient. He has attacked us five times in the same story. He has acted illegally," he said, claiming Soy Sopheap appealed to Funcinpec members to vote for the ruling Cambodian People's Party.
"His appeal is contrary to election law. We have already asked municipal authorities to protest in front of CTN," he said.
Intention to divide solidarity
Nhek Bun Chhay claimed Soy Sopheap's intention was to divide solidarity between CPP and Funcinpec members and to discredit the party by claiming it forced Siem Reap members to swear their vote.
"Funcinpec did not force its members to swear their vote ...it just wants its members to be honest and work together," he said.
Party has right to protest
Director of CTN Kith Meng told the Post Monday he did not know the specifics of the issue, adding that if Nhek Bun Chhay wants to protest in front of his CTN studio he may, as it is his right to do so.
Soy Sopheap told the Post Monday he would welcome the protest and confirmed that he told Funcinpec voters to defect on CTN Thursday of last week.
"Before, political parties including Funcinpec criticised the CPP for forcing its members to swear, but now Funcinpec are doing the same thing," he said.
"If Funcinpec is going to make their members swear like the CPP, they may as well defect to the CPP," he added.
Nhek Bun Chhay said that his party would also consider lodging a complaint in court against the anchor.