About 800 SRP Members Defect to Ruling Party

At least 800 SRP members from Banteay Meanchey’s Mongkol Borei district have defected to the ruling party this month, according to a CPP official.

About 300 defectors from Ta Lom commune and an additional 500 were from Russei Krork commune were welcomed into the CPP, said Heng Sambath, who is a representative for Ke Kim Yan, RCAF commander-in-chief and a member of the CPP’s permanent committee.

“We had a ceremony to welcome their joining [the CPP] on May 4,” he said, noting that the CPP has taken in more than 8,000 defectors from the SRP since December.

“Nearly all the SRP members [in Ta Lom commune] left for the CPP with me,” said Pin Polo, who said he switched parties two weeks ago after being a SRP member since 1998.

“This is my will. I did not get any bribe or position,” he said.

Long Lavy, Mongkol Borei district officer for the SRP, said that the actual number of defectors was closer to 10 or 20.

“They exaggerate the numbers,” he said.

Mu Sochua, Deputy Secretary-General of the SRP, said the defectors had joined a party they had until recently denounced as corrupt, cruel, and involved in deforestation.

“We reject those who have lost-no, those who have sold their conscience,” she said.

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