Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thy Sovantha plans to sue 5,000 CNRP councillors

Thy Sovantha plans to sue 5,000 CNRP councillors

Social media celebrity Thy Sovantha speaks to the press outside Phnom Penh Court earlier this year in Phnom Penh.
Social media celebrity Thy Sovantha speaks to the press outside Phnom Penh Court earlier this year in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Thy Sovantha plans to sue 5,000 CNRP councillors

Social media celebrity and former CNRP activist Thy Sovantha confirmed yesterday she intends to file a complaint against the more than 5,000 opposition councillors currently in office for being accomplices to alleged “treason” by the party and its leader Kem Sokha.

Sovantha yesterday said a group of lawyers had been asked to study whether charges could be filed against the opposition’s councillors, but that she would wait to see the outcome of a hearing on the CNRP’s dissolution on Thursday, as well as the result of a trial for “treason” against Sokha, before filing her complaint.

“The activities of CNRP officials, who are continuing to participate with Kem Sokha and the CNRP, show clearly that almost 5,000 commune officials are participating and committing treason with the CNRP,” she said.

While reluctant to answer further, Sovantha took to Facebook to compare the recently elected local officials to suspects in a 2016 coup attempt in Turkey that saw military plotters bomb the parliament and take to the streets in tanks.

After the attempt was quelled, President Tayyip Erdogan rounded up nearly 60,000 soldiers, police, judges, civil servants and teachers for their alleged roles in the coup, raising questions as to whether Erdogan had used the uprising as a pretext to purge those loyal to a political rival.

Thy Sovantha first gained stardom as the face of the CNRP’s social media engagement ahead of the 2013 national elections. But her relationship with the main opposition party began to sour after CNRP lawmakers accused her in 2014 of being a spy for the Cambodian People’s Party. After an unverified recording emerged of Sokha telling an alleged mistress that Sovantha took advantage of overseas supporters for funds, she responded by suing the then-party vice president.

She also sued former party President Sam Rainsy earlier this year for his claims that she received $1 million from Prime Minister Hun Sen to fund her social activities – accusations stemming from leaked chats purportedly between her and the premier himself.

The threat to sue was of little concern to Sin Rozeth, CNRP commune chief in Battambang’s O’Char commune. “If they want to sue, go ahead.”

Similarly, Chen Sokngeng, chief of Sala Kamroeuk commune in Siem Reap, said it was tiring having to fend off attacks from the CPP and its surrogates – all intended to get CNRP councillors to jump ship. “I’ve never seen political messages that threaten to sue those who do not defect to them.”

Updated Tuesday 14 November, 7:01am.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM to vet NY holiday dates

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance submitted a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen asking him to formally set a five-day national holiday from August 17-21 to make up for the Khmer New Year holiday in April that was postponed. Finance minister Aun Pornmoniroth sent

  • Cambodia rejects UN rights claim

    Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva on Friday hit back at David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression after he raised concerns over the repression of free speech and

  • Snaring may spawn diseases

    The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that snaring of animals has become a crisis that poses a serious risk to wildlife in Southeast Asia and could spawn the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans. Its July 9 report entitled Silence of the Snares: Southeast Asia’

  • Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state

    A former political party leader known for being critical of the government has been appointed secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, a royal decree dated July 9 said. Sourn Serey Ratha, the former president of the Khmer Power Party (KPP), told The Post

  • Residence cards set for over 80,000 immigrants

    The Ministry of Interior plans to grant residence cards to more than 80,000 immigrants to better keep track of them. The ministry announced the plan on July 10, following the results of an immigration census. “An inter-ministerial committee and many operational working groups have been set up

  • Kingdom produces PPE gear

    Medical supplies from Cambodia have been donated to member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to assist in the fight against Covid-19, said an ADB report published on July 9. The report stated that the supplies were donated as a response to global efforts to

  • Kingdom, US vow stronger ties

    At an academic forum on Saturday to celebrate 70 years of Cambodia-US diplomatic ties, Cambodian researchers and officials expressed hope of encouraging US investments and for that country to deepen and improve its bilateral relations. Held at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, it reviewed the past 70

  • Fifteen Cambodians from Saudi get Covid-19

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed 15 more imported cases of Covid. The 15 men ‒ all Cambodian aged 21 to 33 ‒ arrived from Saudi Arabia on Friday via a connecting flight in Malaysia. They were travelling with 79 other passengers, three of them women. The ministry said 80 of the

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea