Kem Sokha Accused of Denying Flood Aid to CPP Voters

A village chief in Kompong Cham province’s flooded Tonle Bit commune Thursday accused opposition leader Kem Sokha of refusing to provide emergency supplies to CPP supporters during a donation run on Tuesday.

Prek Touch village chief Sar Bora said that Mr. Sokha, vice president of the CNRP, had given donations to 120 families in neighboring Yeay Sar village, but only to those who identified themselves as opposition supporters.

“This party gave donations to its supporters only, not to general victims,” he said.

Mr. Bora said that a team from the ruling CPP had arrived later on Tuesday at a demarcated “safety area” near Yeay Sar village and indiscriminately provided donations of rice to 102 families who had been affected by the floods.

He added that Catholic aid organization Caritas had also distributed donations to more than 100 families in the safety area, but that other aid organizations had yet to visit.

“I have not seen any organization besides Caritas come to give donations since I’ve been in this safety area,” he said.

Mao Monivan—who along with Mr. Sokha was elected as a CNRP lawmaker for Kompong Cham in the July 28 national election—confirmed that Mr. Sokha had visited the safety area on Tuesday morning but denied that the CNRP leader had purposely not given aid to CPP supporters.

Mr. Monivan said Mr. Sokha had delivered 20 kg of rice, a case of noodles, two bottles of soy sauce and 20 tablets of flu medicine to more than 150 families from Yeay Sar village without asking anyone’s political affiliation.

“We brought gifts donated by charitable people in the United States of America and Australia to help the flooding victims,” he said. “We distributed the donations to victims generally, without discriminating against [different] political supporters, like the Prek Touch village chief alleged.”

The CNRP lawmaker-elect added that Mr. Sokha had also delivered similar donations to more than 100 families in the province’s Koh Sotin district as well as 130 families in Prey Veng province’s Peamro district on the same day.

“This is the first time the deputy president [Mr. Sokha] has visited flooding areas in Kompong Cham and Prey Veng, and he also plans to visit other flooded areas after the Pchum Ben holiday,” he said.

The CNRP on Tuesday issued a press release calling on Cambodians both inside and outside of the country to contribute donations of goods and money to victims of the recent floods.

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