SRP Says Unfazed by 4 More Defections to CPP

Four more senior SRP members have defected to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling CPP, officials confirmed Wednesday.

SRP Secretary-General Eng Chhay Eang said his party re­ceived the resignations of two mem­­bers of the SRP’s Board of Dir­ectors, Ly Chhoung and Kang Mao, along with SRP special en­voy to Stung Treng province Mom Bunthorn and Yin Socheat, dep­uty director of the party’s legal and human rights section.

The four are the latest in what has been a wave of defections from the SRP, with several senior members leaving in recent weeks.

SRP leader Sam Rainsy moved to reassure his party’s supporters in a written statement Wednesday saying that those who joined the CPP had abandoned their conscience and shown they were of no value.

“At one time they said the CPP was bad and now they say it has acted correctly,” he said.

Eng Chhay Eang said he was proud that the SRP has built up such a high level of human re­sour­ces that the CPP now “needs to take from them.”

But, he added, “The government is not able to find jobs for all three million SRP supporters.”

None of the four officials could be reached for comment on Wednesday.

CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said the policy at present is that any po­litical defector to the CPP who had been a lawmaker or a board member would receive a government adviser position.

He also quipped that the CPP was up for taking in 3 million SRP supporters.

“Eng Chhay Eang was mocking us, but I say the CPP would find suitable positions for all those supporters according to their qualifications,” he said.

Director of the Neutral and In­de­pendent Committee for Free Elec­tions in Cambodia Puthea Hang said the SRP hierarchy were playing politics by saying that the defections did not affect them.

“I believe that so many defections will cause a decline in support and influence voters,” he said. “The CPP is benefiting from this.”

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