Norodom Ranariddh Party spokesman Muth Channtha has filed a complaint with the Interior Ministry accusing a senior provincial NRP activist of pulling a gun on a fellow party representative during an argument about money, officials said June 24.
Muong Khim, the ministry’s deputy judicial police chief, said Muth Channtha filed the complaint against Nou Kim Y, the NRP’s chief Battambang province representative, over the June 23-24 weekend. The complaint alleges that an irate Nou Kim Y pulled a pistol on In Sokhom, the NRP’s chief representative for Svay Rieng province, during a heated argument at the party’s cabinet in Phnom Penh on June 19, Muong Khim said.
“Muth Channtha complained that Nou Kim Y pointed a gun,” Muong Khim said. “This is a serious complaint because it involved a weapon.” Muth Channtha could not be contacted June 24.
Nou Kim Y firmly denied drawing a weapon on his party colleague, though he added that In Sokhom kicked him out of the NRP cabinet after he demanded several thousand dollars that he claims to be owed by NRP Deputy Secretary-General Sao Rany.
Nou Kim Y also claimed that when he arrived at the cabinet, Sao Rany hid inside a room and refused to come out and pay.
Contacted June 24, Sao Rany firmly denied owing Nou Kim Y any money. “If he has evidence that I owe him money, I can pay him back,” he said. “[Nou Kim Y] was angry inside the office. Then he walked outside, took a gun from his car and pointed it at people,” Sao Rany alleged.
Nou Kim Y described the way he was being treated by the NRP as “a grave injustice.” He also said that he is considering jumping ship to Funcinpec or the CPP.
Acting NRP President Chhim Seak Leng said he was outside Phnom Penh and was unaware of the case. “I have no concerns about an internal rift in the party,” he added.
Mar Sophal, monitoring chief for the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, said the alleged incident indicates the difficulties the party is suffering without firm leadership from NRP President Prince Ranariddh, who is outside Cambodia. “When the party has no leadership it is difficult,” he said. “The distance management is the problem.”