Opposition leader Sam Rainsy is to be replaced by Kem Sokha, his deputy, as head of the minority group in parliament, according to National Assembly spokesman Leng Peng Long.
Mr. Peng Long, who is also head of the Assembly’s secretariat, said his office received the CNRP’s request on Monday afternoon and would send it to be approved by Assembly President Heng Samrin today.
“According to procedure, we will recognize it,” he said.
The spokesman said Mr. Sokha would replace Mr. Rainsy, who was removed from parliament after an arrest warrant was issued last year over an old defamation case, and that senior CNRP lawmaker Yim Sovann would replace Mr. Sokha as deputy head of the minority group.
Mr. Rainsy contended that he would remain the official “minority leader” despite the change.
“As CNRP president, I remain the Minority Leader (whose role and status are specified in the recently amended National Assembly’s internal rules).
My counterpart is Hun Sen as CPP president,” he said in an email. “Being a lawmaker on the spot and as CNRP acting president, Kem Sokha becomes president of the group of CNRP National Assembly members.”
Other members of the party could not be reached to explain the reshuffle.