Cambodia Threatens CNRP ‘Investigation’ For Receiving Foreign Funds

Email story
Comment on this story
Print story
CNRP spokesperson Yim Sovann speaks at an opposition rally in Phnom Penh, May 28, 2017.
CNRP spokesperson Yim Sovann speaks at an opposition rally in Phnom Penh, May 28, 2017.

Cambodia’s Ministry of Interior announced on Wednesday it will investigate allegations that the country’s main political opposition party has received funds from foreign sources, vowing to shut the party down if the charges can be proved.

The statement followed the expulsion last week of U.S.-funded NGO the National Democratic Institute, the shuttering of independent radio stations,  and other moves by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) that critics say are aimed at silencing voices critical of the party and Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen ahead of national elections next year.

Speaking to RFA’s Khmer Service, interior ministry spokesperson Khieu Sopheak said that the ministry has now asked Cambodia’s national police to look into charges, posted anonymously on a Facebook page, that the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) has received foreign funding.

“They will be fine if no proof is found against them,” Khieu Sopheak said.

“But if we find proof, we will seek advice from the ministry’s leadership on how to proceed against them,” he said, adding that if the CNRP is found to be receiving foreign money, it will be banned under provisions of a new law regulating the activities of political parties in Cambodia.

Reports in government-aligned media outlets in recent weeks have regularly attacked the CNRP, linking the daughters of party leader Kem Sokha to foreign nationals accused of plotting to overthrow the country’s government.

Lawful, transparent

Also speaking to RFA, CNRP spokesperson Yim Sovann said the party—which made impressive gains in commune elections in June, receiving nearly 44 percent of the vote—faithfully follows Cambodian law and has filed reports with the interior ministry demonstrating its transparency.

“I don’t understand why information taken from an anonymous source is being used like this against the CNRP,” he said. “Information critical of other political parties has never been given this kind of attention before.”

Local political analyst Meas Ny meanwhile called the threatened government investigation into CNRP funding unfair and politically motivated, adding that Cambodia’s law on political parties will likely be used only against opposition groups.

“If the Ministry of Interior issues restrictions related to this matter, I think that there will soon be no opposition parties left at all,” he said.

'No credit in this'

Speaking on Wednesday to a crowd of thousands of garment factory workers in Phnom Penh, prime minister Hun Sen said that only the ruling CPP works to defend the interests of the country and its workers.

“We call for people to invest in, give aid to, and buy products from Cambodia,” Hun Sen said. “Your wages have increased thanks to your own hard work and the work of your employers and the government.”

“The opposition party has no credit in this at all,” he said.

CNRP spokesperson Yim Sovann dismissed his party’s concern over Hun Sen’s remarks, however, saying, “We pay greater attention to what our own constituents say about us.”

“We listen to them, and not to anyone else.”

Reported by Moniroth Morm and Neang Ieng for RFA’s Khmer Service. Translated by Sovannarith Keo. Written in English by Richard Finney.

Comments (2)

Anonymous Reader

CPP sources of fund must be checked as well in order to make a transparency. Let see where the money from CPP come from ?

Sep 01, 2017 11:10 AM

Youn in Cambodia

from Hanoi

When Sok Tuoch said that Heng Samrin lived in Youn land, in fact he is YOUN infiltrated as Khmer to take over Cambodia and ethnic Cleansing Khmer People.
All Khmer nationals should know and let the world know that Cambodia is Annexed by Vietnam Communist regime in the purpose of Ethnic cleansing Khmer People and steal our land. Like Sok Tuoch said, Heng Samrin is Youn, Tea Banh is youn, and so many hundred of thousands youn spies and secret agents change their name to Cambodian name in purpose to annex and ethnic cleansing
Cambodia and Cambodians. Why all Khmer do not want to remember the history that youn never want Cambodia and Cambodians to live and Exit????????????

Aug 31, 2017 06:02 AM





More Listening Options

View Full Site