PHNOM PENH —
The vice president of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, Kem Sokha, is facing a social media scandal, related to alleged phone conversations with a mistress.
On a Facebook page that was widely shared on social media recently, someone named “Mon Srey” posted what are purported to be conversations between Kem Sokha, who is leading the opposition in the absence of party president Sam Rainsy, and a woman named “Mom.” The conversations detail daily activities, as well as sexual activities.
The Rescue Party has dismissed the recordings as false and an “old trick” by the political opponents of the party seeking to discredit its leadership. Rescue Party spokesman Yem Ponhearith said the party would not spend time investigating the recordings and will instead focus on the upcoming elections in 2017 and 2018. “We are too busy to pay attention to this issue,” he said.
Kem Sokha was embroiled in a similar scandal in 2013, when a purported mistress filed a lawsuit against him. The suit disappeared shortly after the elections.
Kem Ley, a political analyst, called the new Facebook postings “dirty politics” and urged authorities to track down the poster. Personal insults are often used in Cambodian politics, he said, alongside more violent forms of intimidation, including imprisonment, beatings and assassinations.