Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Top officials quit Rainsy's Khmer Nation




Top officials quit Rainsy's Khmer Nation

Top officials quit Rainsy's Khmer Nation

INTERNAL bickering has struck Sam Rainsy's Khmer Nation Party (KNP), with four senior

members quitting and another apparently set to follow.

Within a day of his Jan 15 return to Cambodia after a six-week trip abroad, Rainsy

found himself embroiled in feuds within the party leadership. Steering committee

member Phan Sina resigned, saying he would only stay on if five others - including

Secretary-General Khieu Rada - were sacked. Sina criticized party people he described

as "extremists", including former opposition newspaper editors Chan Ratana

and Hor Sopheap, and accused some of being disrespectful to the King.

Within days, three other steering committee members had also quit. Nou Beng and Doung

Sarom cited frustration with KNP, while Nop Ann gave the reason of poor health.

Meanwhile, KNP vice-president Nguon Soeur - the former deputy national police chief

and highest-ranking former Funcinpec member to defect to the Rainsy party - also

sought Rada's dismissal.

Soeur, who is known to have wanted to be Secretary-General of KNP, would not comment

to the Post but said he would hold a press conference soon.

Rainsy moved to try to limit the public damage, describing the resignations as "petty

quarrel" and not a concerted challenge to the KNP leadership. He blamed personality

clashes between certain steering committee members, and said that those who had left

had done so on good terms with him personally.

But at the same time, Rainsy suggested it would be "normal" for the government

to try to infiltrate people into the party to divide it, but stopped short of levelling

the allegation against any person.

"Some people may have had some plans to create trouble from within," Rainsy

said.

"But they realized very quickly after only two or three months after the formation

of the party that they cannot implement their plan [and] that they are wasting their

time."

Khieu Rada accused Phan Sina of fabricating a story that he (Rada) was against the

monarchy and the King.

Rada, who has written to the King professing his support, also suggested that outside

forces were trying to split KNP.

"I have a feeling that he [Sina] serves somebody to disintegrate KNP,"

Rada said.

Sina, in his resignation letter, spoke of extremists within KNP and "opportunists"

who were stopping government recognition being given to it.

Meanwhile, Rainsy departed for Australia this week, after 10 days in Cambodia during

which his personal security seemed tighter than normal.

Bodyguards bustled Rainsy out of Pochentong Airport upon his Jan 15 arrival, after

the pro-Cambodian People's Party newspaper Koh Santepheap had reported that he would

be the subject of protests by students.

At a press conference within an hour of his arrival, Rainsy spoke of continuing concern

for his life - and publicly identified the people he said would be responsible if

he was murdered. "If I am killed, I can tell you now that it is Hun Sen who

ordered my killing, with the backing and complicity of Prince Ranariddh and with

Theng Boonma providing the financing of the assissination," Rainsy said of the

co-Prime Ministers and the head of the Thai Boon Rong company. Rainsy provided no

direct evidence of a plot to kill him, but said "they are the only ones who

can gain from my death."

Rainsy urged the government to recognize KNP as a legal political party, and confirmed

that he was prepared to merge the party with others if required.

He said discussions had been held with six other parties - registered in the 1993

election - run by expatriate Khmers who had since returned to France or the United

States. KNP, to ensure the government had no reason to claim it was illegal, could

join with one or more of those parties, he said.

In the meantime, Rainsy has written to the co-Ministers of Interior seeking discussions

over KNP's legality and, in response to statements by the King, has agreed to alter

the party's logo and launching date.

MOST VIEWED

  • Something about Cambodian Internet service provider

    Phnom Penh – These days, almost every house has Wi-Fi to ensure internet connectivity since it is crucial for people to communicate and work – particularly for those who do business online. During the Coronavirus pandemic, Wi-Fi has become even more important as it is necessary for

  • UN bodies call for drug centre closure

    Thirteen UN entities on Monday issued a joint statement calling on countries in Asia and the Pacific to close all compulsory drug detention and rehabilitation centres to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and other diseases and some forms of human rights violations. The group includes

  • Racism a ‘chronic disease’ in the US

    China said on Monday that the ongoing civil unrest in the US highlighted its severe problems of racism and police violence, and exposed Washington’s double standards in supporting Hong Kong’s protesters. “Black people’s lives are also lives. Their human rights must also

  • VN PM targets prosperous status for key southern economic region by 2035

    Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Saturday asked the southern key economic region to strive to become a powerful and prosperous region by 2035, 10 years ahead of the deadline for the same goal for the whole nation. He made the remarks while chairing a meeting

  • Indonesia backtracks on decision to relax wood export terms

    Indonesia has backtracked on a decision to relax export requirements for timber products months after issuing a deregulation policy that environmental groups criticised for threatening to put sustainable timber trade at risk. On May 11, the Ministry of Trade issued a regulation annulling its previous regulation

  • Bedding product exports gain 190%

    Bedding product exports from Cambodia to the international market in the first four months of the year totalled $24.21 million, up 190.11 per cent over $8.34 million in the same period last year, Ministry of Commerce data show. The ministry includes mattresses, pillows, sheets, blankets and sleeping bags