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SRP defectors get top posts as Sam Rainsy complains to UN

SRP defectors get top posts as Sam Rainsy complains to UN

As those who jumped ship pre-election now reap the benefits, their erstwhile party says it will not drop its claims of electoral fraud

Posts for defectors?

Secretary of state positions: Ngor Sovann, Ministry of Justice; Lon Phun, Ministry of Rural Development; Tan Vanthara, Ministry of Water Resources; Nou Sovath, Ministry of Public Works; Chao Phally, Ministry of Defense (undersecretary of state)

THE ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) released a draft of its new coalition government this week in which at least 37 former members of the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) were appointed positions ranging from secretary to undersecretary of state.

Sok Pheng, who led a mass defection of SRP members to the CPP a few months before national elections and strongly criticized the SRP during the national polls in July, said that he received no official information about future appointments but was ready to accept whatever post was offered.

"I joined the CCP because it offered more possibilities to help the nation," Sok Pheng told the Post on Tuesday. "The SRP could not move forward."

Pheng was named secretary of state for the Council of Ministers, according to the list of appointments in the new coalition government. Other defectors were also given plum appointments.

SRP spokesman Son Chhay said the party didn't care about the appointments and that the defectors were simply looking out for themselves rather than the nation. "It is the CCP policy to make these appointments for their own benefit," Chhay said.

Government spokesman and Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said the appointments are not yet official and could change.

"I cannot say how many government positions will be offered to former SRP members because they have not yet been confirmed," Khieu Kanharith said. "The appointments were offered as incentives and were based on previous job experience."

I joined the cpp as it offered more opportunities to help the nation.

On Tuesday, the SRP and the Human Rights Party (HRP) announced they will collectively file a complaint against the results of the recent election, which they claim was marred by widespread ballot fraud.
"We are going to file a complaint to the United Nations and the European Union because these poll results which were proclaimed by the National Election Committee are not acceptable," Rainsy said.

Rainsy claimed if the polls had been free and fair the Cambodian People's Party would have won 75 seats rather than 90, and said his own SRP would have grabbed 36 seats not 26.

Secretary general of the HRP, Uo Chanrath confirmed his party supported the complaint to the UN.

Khieu Kanharith ridiculed the complaint, saying "now only two parties are rejecting the results," alluding to the fact that former SRP-partners Funcinpec and the Norodom Ranariddh Party have u-turned and now say they support the election results.

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