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Opposition Retains New Leadership Despite Government Criticism


Eng Chhay Eang, vice president of CNRP, raised his hand to vote for its party's amendment of statues, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday April 25, 2017. (Hul Reaksmey/VOA Khmer)

At the March congress, the CNRP elected former deputy leader Kem Sokha as president, along with three vice presidents: Mu Sochua, Eng Chhay Eang, and Pol Ham.

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party convened a second extraordinary party congress onTuesday after the government threatened legal action following a similar event in March.

The party had met to elect a new leadership after its former president, Sam Rainsy, resigned his post.

But the government said it could take the party to court because it had allegedly violated its internal rules and therefore Cambodian law.

At the March congress, the CNRP elected former deputy leader Kem Sokha as president, along with three vice presidents: Mu Sochua, Eng Chhay Eang, and Pol Ham.

At the party congress on Tuesday, the CNRP removed the article in dispute from its charter “so that no one will complain anymore,” Chhay Eang said.

He added that the three vice presidents would remain in their positions until the party had received approval from the government.

General Khieu Sopheak, interior spokesman, declined to comment.

Meas Ny, a social development researcher, said the CNRP was right to hold another congress to amend their charter to avoid confrontation with the government, but that this move would not guarantee the issue would be resolved.

“So far I think everything has been done according to party rules,” he said.

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