Kem Sokha’s Brother’s SRP Role Is Reduced

The brother of Cambodian Cen­ter for Human Rights President Kem Sokha claimed on Tuesday that he has been stripped of some of his duties at the Sam Rainsy Party due to fears he would defect and take other SRP members to a new po­litical party.

Kem Sokhon, who is a member of the SRP’s board of directors, said SRP lawmaker Chea Poch recently told party members in Prey Veng pro­vince’s Kompong Trabek district, where Kem Sokhon is chief of the SRP’s working group, not to cooperate with him.

“They are afraid that I will use my sup­porters for my brother,” Kem Sok­hon said by telephone, adding that the party no longer trusts him.

“They don’t like me since my brother has a problem with the SRP,” he said.

Chea Poch, SRP director for Prey Veng, said Kem Sokhon had been strip­ped of his duties in the district be­cause he failed to attend work there for five months.

SRP lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang said he supported Chea Poch, and claimed Kem Sokhon had been hampering the party’s attempts at in­ternal reform by failing to turn up for work.

“We cannot allow him to obstruct the reform process,” Eng Chhay Eang said.

Kem Sokhon said he had contributed a lot of his own finances to the SRP, adding that he did not mind being given the boot as long as the party provided a formal explanation.

Kem Sokha said the SRP’s ac­tions against his brother were “obviously discrimination.”

“I told my brother to stop working if the party doesn’t need him,” Kem Sokha added.

Meng Rita, SRP acting secretary-general, said if Kem Sokhon wants to leave the party, it is up to him.

Hang Puthea, director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free Elections in Cambodia, said the SRP would lose credibility if it fired Kem Sokhon, as it would look like dis­crimination.

Kem Sokha has repeatedly de­nied having plans to form his own po­litical party.

 

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