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After Anonymous Facebook Post, Hun Sen Gives Credence to Sex Allegations Against Opposition


Journalists wait in front of Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) during the party's meeting, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, May 26, 2016.

The anonymous Facebook account, named “Seyha”, alleged that Yem Ponharith had had an affair with his secretary and had a sexual encounter with her in the parliament building.

At the request of Prime Minister Hun Sen, a parliamentary investigation into alleged impropriety in the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party will be launched.

Hun Sen on Tuesday alleged that CNRP lawmakers had taken to gambling and had engaged in sex acts in parliament.

He based his allegations on posts on an anonymous Facebook page that were widely circulated on social media this week.

The lawmakers implicated in the scandal include Eng Chhay Eang, Yem Ponharith, Yim Sovann, Ho Vann, Long Ry, Chan Chheng and Pot Pov.

The anonymous Facebook account, named “Seyha”, alleged that Ponharith had had an affair with his secretary and had a sexual encounter with her in the parliament building.

Hun Sen asked National Assembly president Heng Samrin to hold a Buddhist ceremony in the building to cleanse it.

Leng Peng Long, National Assembly spokesman, said the institution is investigating the allegations.

“This kind of behavior is immoral. However, there is no rule to impose a penalty on those who do it,” he said.

Ponharith could not be reached.

The CNRP’s deputy leader, Kem Sokha, on Tuesday posted on Facebook saying that the allegations were another attempt to smear the opposition ahead of local elections planned for June.

“We should acknowledge that when an election is approaching, there will be more stories, so we shouldn’t be surprised. We must focus on our work,” he wrote.

Meas Ny, a social researcher, said the ruling party was setting a bad example by giving credence to rumor and innuendo, labeling the pre-election period as “barking season”.

Late last year, Sokha was sentenced in case related to his alleged involvement in an extra-marital affair, a case that has seen five people detained so far.

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