Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sar Kheng downs offer of inclusion into CNRP

Sar Kheng downs offer of inclusion into CNRP

Interior Minister Sar Kheng poses for a photograph yesterday after casting his vote at a polling station in Battambang province. FRESH NEWS
Interior Minister Sar Kheng poses for a photograph yesterday after casting his vote at a polling station in Battambang province. Fresh News

Sar Kheng downs offer of inclusion into CNRP

A remark by an opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) senior adviser that Minister of Interior Sar Kheng would remain deputy prime minister if the opposition party won the 2018 national elections drew a terse response from the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), with the minister saying that this suggestion was “malicious” and tarnished his honour.

In a statement released on Friday, Sar Kheng’s cabinet said remarks from former Sam Rainsy Party leader Kong Korm – delivered in a speech in Kratie on Thursday – had offended the minister, and said that Korm had attempted to “confuse Cambodians to persuade the people to believe him”.

“Kong Korm’s statement violates the honour of Sar Kheng . . . The cabinet appeals to the public not to be cheated by these malicious means for Kong Korm’s personal ambition and for the policy of the CNRP.”

Reached by phone yesterday, Korm said that this was merely a suggestion and that he had “great respect” for the Interior Minister.

“I do not despise His Excellency Sar Kheng, but I respect and love, and promote him,” he said. “It was just a suggestion to benefit the two parties.”

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak, however, said that Korm had used Sar Kheng’s name to bolster his own fame.

“Who is Kong Korm? . . . He is one of the people who died in politics,” he said. “We just want to tell the public that Sar Kheng has never contacted Kong Korm.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said