Sam Rainsy Party members faxed an anonymous statement to media outlets Thursday accusing Cambodian Center for Human Rights President Kem Sokha of masquerading as a human rights activist and planning to establish a “People Power Party.”
The statement, faxed from the party’s headquarters, claimed that Kem Sokha draws most of his support from the SRP and is using the structure in place at the CCHR and his growing network of contacts in France, the US and Australia to build the political party.
“The PPP will cooperate with former members of the Son Sann Party and the members of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights,” the statement reads.
“Members of the SRP, Funcinpec and CPP are being courted by Kem Sokha,” it added, before poking fun at Kem Sokha’s overseas education.
“Kem Sokha was a former student from Czechoslovakia in producing canned fish,” it stated.
SRP Acting Secretary General Meng Rita said the party had received the statement by e-mail and mistakenly issued it to the media.
“My colleagues sent it to the media without my consent,” he said.
SRP lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang said the statement had been received from a French e-mail address, adding that SRP members were banned from continuing to distribute it.
“We advised them already. We warned them,” he said.
Kem Sokha was reportedly in the US on Thursday and could not be reached for comment.
CCHR spokesman Ou Virak reiterated previous statements that Kem Sokha has no plans to form a political party, adding that people who meant to undermine the CCHR had started such rumors.
“There is a group of people who would love to see the end of CCHR,” he said.
He added that Kem Sokha had received a degree in winemaking, not fish canning.
Former Son Sann Party President Son Soubert said there was no plan for former members of his defunct party to cooperate with Kem Sokha to establish a People Power Party.
“We don’t want to compete with other democrats,” Son Soubert said.