The CPP has accused politicians from its coalition partner Funcinpec of campaigning for July’s national election by saying that a vote for Funcinpec is the same as a vote for the CPP—a claim Funcinpec denied Monday.
Speaking at an inauguration ceremony in Pursat province Saturday, Prime Minister Hun Sen warned both Funcinpec President Keo Puth Rasmey and Secretary-General Nhiek Bun Chhay to instruct their party members to stop attaching themselves to the CPP while campaigning.
“The ballot has no alliance,” he said. “I would like to leave a message to Nhiek Bun Chhay and Keo Puth Rasmey that I do not like that—I want all [the votes].”
CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said Monday by telephone that there have been reports from the provinces that Funcinpec members have campaigned by stating that the royalist party and the CPP are one and the same.
“We cannot share the ballots. These are their strategies to win the election,” he said, adding that an alliance between parties can only be established after the election.
Funcinpec First Deputy President Lu Laysreng denied Hun Sen’s accusation, saying that he was unaware of any of his party’s candidates attaching themselves to the CPP.
“I don’t allow my party to say that—we are independent,” he said by telephone Monday.
Funcinpec adviser Ok Socheat speculated that opposition parties might be spreading a false picture of Funcinpec’s campaigning methods. He added that Hun Sen’s remarks were a positive for the party because they highlighted its independence.
“This shows that Funcinpec is not a puppet,” he said.