Sokha’s daugh­ters slam ‘liar’ Rainsy over ‘smears’

The Phnom Penh Post - - FRONT PAGE - Ben Sokhean

THE daugh­ters of for­mer op­po­si­tion leader Kem Sokha hit out at Sam Rainsy on Tues­day, ac­cus­ing the newly nom­i­nated “act­ing pres­i­dent” of the Cam­bo­dia Na­tional Res­cue Party (CNRP) of lead­ing a “smear cam­paign” against their fa­ther and “re­peat­edly ly­ing to the pub­lic”.

The Supreme Court-dissolved CNRP’s in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence, held in the US over the week­end, nom­i­nated Rainsy as act­ing pres­i­dent de­spite op­po­si­tion from sup­port­ers of Sokha, the pre­vi­ous leader.

On Tues­day, Rainsy said the de­ci­sion to nom­i­nate him to re­place Sokha was de­signed to “re­ac­ti­vate” the party and ap­pealed to CNRP sup­port­ers to unite.

Sokha is cur­rently on bail at his home await­ing trial on trea­son charges.

Speak­ing via video on his of­fi­cial Face­book page on Tues­day, days af­ter the nom­i­na­tion, Rainsy claimed the de­ci­sion was part of a strat­egy to “find a for­mula to re­ac­ti­vate the CNRP”.

“We have just gath­ered at At­lanta [Ge­or­gia, in the US] to find a new way to res­ur­rect the CNRP be­cause we can­not leave our party in deadlock as our pres­i­dent Kem Sokha is kept hostage by [Prime Min­is­ter] Hun Sen.

“There­fore, the de­ci­sion in At­lanta helps to re­ac­ti­vate us, de­ter­mine strate­gies and make de­ci­sions in time. We will as­sign the tasks which need to be com­pleted in the next few months in or­der to lib­er­ate our coun­try,” he claimed.

Rainsy went on to call for unity be­tween pro-Sokha sup­port­ers and warned party mem­bers not to fall for any “tricks”.

“Kem Sokha is detained and he can do noth­ing as he has no free­dom. They used Kem Sokha’s name and it is Hun Sen’s trick, and we need to un­der­stand this clearly.

“Main­tain the stance – Kem Sokha and Sam Rainsy are one per­son [with] one heart [and] one pur­pose, which is to res­cue our coun­try.

“Be care­ful – do not fall for the tricks and pro­pa­ganda of Hun Sen say­ing that the CNRP is split. It is not true.

“We un­der­stand clearly t hat [if ] we unite and agree with each other, we can en­sure the CNRP’s v ic­tor y, which is t he v ic­tor y of a ll Cam­bo­di­ans,” he claimed.

How­ever, on Tues­day both of Sokha’s daugh­ters took um­brage with a sug­ges­tion that Rainsy made on Twit­ter.

He had claimed that as their fa­ther was “be­ing held hostage” by Hun Sen, he could “re­flect his true will only when he re­cov­ers full free­dom and when he can pub­licly speak for him­self ”.

They called Rainsy’s claim an “in­sult to [Sokha’s] in­tegrity”.

“If Kem Sokha had been con­cerned for his safety more than his con­science, he’d have fled Cam­bo­dia. He’s un­der ar­rest be­cause he chose to stand by his con­science and free speech.

“Your dis­missa l of his opin­ion lega lly and le­git­i­mately ex­pressed through law yers and fam­ily is an in­sult to his

in­tegrity,” Kem Sa­math­ida, Sokha’s sec­ond daugh­ter, replied on Twit­ter.

Kem Monovithya, Sokha’s el­dest daugh­ter, who was also the for­mer CNRP deputy di­rec­tor-gen­eral of pub­lic af­fairs, said Rainsy has led a “smear cam­paign” to un­der­mine her fa­ther and called into ques­tion his hon­esty.

“Sam Rainsy has re­peat­edly lied to the pub­lic that Kem Sokha’s mes­sages are fake/in­valid, de­spite con­fir­ma­tion from Kem Sokha lawyers and fam­ily of their au­then­tic­ity/sin­cer­ity.

“Si nce Kem Sok ha’s i mpris­on­ment, Sam Rainsy has led a smear cam­paign to un­der­mine [the] Kem Sok ha side of [the] CNRP, la­belling them as spies,” she t weeted.

Be­sides Sokha’s daugh­ters, many other CNRP mem­bers have con­demned Rainsy’s moves. Among those who com­mented on his posts was Muth Chan­tha.

Ad­dressi ng Ra i nsy ’s com­ments, he said: “Will you be shame­ful for a wrong­ful act? A per­son claimed to be a demo­crat and a rule of law pro­moter, but he him­self by­passed the party supreme law to get him­self insta lled as CNRP act­ing pres­i­dent.

“Law is law, and no ex­cuse can be made to cover up one’s wrong­ful act.”

POST STAFF

The Cam­bo­dia Na­tional Res­cue Party’s Sam Rainsy (right) and Kem Sokha speak at a press con­fer­ence in Ph­nom Penh in 2013.

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