Founding Member of HRP Defects to CPP

Keo Remy, longtime politician and more recently disciplinary committee director of the Human Rights Party, confirmed Tuesday that he and two other HRP officials have defected to the ruling CPP.

A founding member of the HRP, Keo Remy said by telephone that he had joined Prime Minister Hun Sen’s party because he was tired of years spent being in the opposition.

“I have been with the opposition against the CPP since the 1980s. I am exhausted, and I am tired of op­posing the government,” he said.

This is not the first time that Keo Remy has changed parties.

Keo Remy became a Funcinpec lawmaker in 1998 and later defected to the SRP in 2003, where he was elected as a lawmaker in Phnom Penh. He defected from the SRP to help found the HRP, along with party President Kem Sokha, in 2006, but failed to obtain a lawmaker position in the July 27 national election.

“The CPP leaders are good at controlling their people and they are good at politics,” Keo Remy said.

HRP Financial Director Reach Samreach and his deputy Lim Rattanak also defected to the CPP on Tuesday, Keo Remy said, adding that he didn’t know what position Hun Sen would now bestow on him.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen said that he was sad that it was so late for me to join the government. But I want only to be a CPP member. I don’t set any conditions,” he said.

HRP Secretary-General Yem Ponhearith downplayed the defections. “Keo Remy’s defection will not affect the party,” he said.

CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said that the CPP is still welcoming anyone that wishes to join the ruling party.

“The CPP will examine the possibility of giving [Keo Remy] a position to serve the country,” Cheam Yeap said.


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