Face­book star­let mulls su­ing CNRP coun­cil­lors

The Phnom Penh Post - - NATIONAL - Niem Ch­heng

SO­CIAL me­dia celebrity and for­mer CNRP ac­tivist Thy So­van­tha con­firmed yes­ter­day she in­tends to file a com­plaint against the more than 5,000 op­po­si­tion coun­cil­lors cur­rently in of­fice for be­ing ac­com­plices to al­leged “trea­son” by the party and its leader Kem Sokha.

So­van­tha yes­ter­day said a group of lawyers had been asked to study whether charges could be filed against the op­po­si­tion’s coun­cil­lors, but that she would wait to see the out­come of a hear­ing on the CNRP’s dis­so­lu­tion on Thurs­day, as well as the re­sult of a trial for “trea­son” against Sokha, be­fore fil­ing her com­plaint.

“The ac­tiv­i­ties of CNRP of­fi­cials, who are con­tin­u­ing to par­tic­i­pate with Kem Sokha and the CNRP, show clearly that al­most 5,000 com­mune of­fi­cials are par­tic­i­pat­ing and com­mit­ting trea­son with the CNRP,” she said.

While re­luc­tant to an­swer fur­ther, So­van­tha took to Face­book to com­pare the re­cently elected lo­cal of­fi­cials to sus­pects in a 2016 coup at­tempt in Turkey that saw mil­i­tary plot­ters bomb the par­lia­ment and take to the streets in tanks.

Af­ter the at­tempt was quelled, Pres­i­dent Tayyip Er­do­gan rounded up nearly 60,000 sol­diers, po­lice, judges, civil ser­vants and teach­ers for their al­leged roles in the coup, rais­ing ques­tions as to whether Er­do­gan had used the up­ris­ing as a pre­text to purge those loyal to a po­lit­i­cal ri­val.

Thy So­van­tha first gained star­dom as the face of the CNRP’s so­cial me­dia en­gage­ment ahead of the 2013 na­tional elec­tions. But her re­la­tion­ship with the main op­po­si­tion party be­gan to sour af­ter CNRP law­mak­ers ac­cused her in 2014 of be­ing a spy for the Cam­bo­dian Peo­ple’s Party. Af­ter an un­ver­i­fied record­ing emerged of Sokha telling an al­leged mis­tress that So­van­tha took ad­van­tage of over­seas sup­port­ers for funds, she re­sponded by su­ing the then-party vice pres­i­dent.

She also sued for­mer party Pres­i­dent Sam Rainsy ear­lier this year for his claims that she re­ceived $1 mil­lion from Prime Min­is­ter Hun Sen to fund her so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties – ac­cu­sa­tions stem­ming from leaked chats pur­port­edly be­tween her and the premier him­self.

The threat to sue was of lit­tle con­cern to Sin Rozeth, CNRP com­mune chief in Bat­tam­bang’s O’Char com­mune. “If they want to sue, go ahead.”

Sim­i­larly, Chen Sokn­geng, chief of Sala Kam­roeuk com­mune in Siem Reap, said it was tir­ing hav­ing to fend off at­tacks from the CPP and its sur­ro­gates – all in­tended to get CNRP coun­cil­lors to jump ship. “I’ve never seen po­lit­i­cal mes­sages that threaten to sue those who do not de­fect to them.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Cambodia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.