A Change of Guard

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Saturday, 3 April 2010

Deputy Governor of Phnom Penh accused of using public forum to attack opposition party

By Khmerization
Source: RFA

A dozen of councillors from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) has accused Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Mann Chhoeun of showing partisanship in his leadership of the Phnom Penh City Hall when he used workshop seminar to attack the opposition party, reports Radio Free Asia.

The 8 councillors stormed out of the workshop on 31st March when Mr. Mann Chhoeun, the Cambodian People's Party-appointed Deputy Governor, said that he wanted to "knock out their teeth" for accusing the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) officials of forcibly evicting slum-dwellers from the city in the past.

Mr. Lam Soeun, one of the SRP's councillors who stormed out of the workshop, has called for Mr. Mann Chhoeun's removal at a press conference after the workshop. "My group is a working group representing the SRP and it is unacceptable to us when he used an offensive language like this, because if the leadership cannot show neutrality he cannot become a leader also. This is the reason why we didn't participate in the seminar", he said.

Mr. Ho Vann, SRP MP for Phnom Penh, said Mr. Mann Chhoeun's partisan comments caused division within the City Hall along the political line of the SRP and the CPP. "In the City Hall we must think that those people (SRP councillors) are councillors working for the government who are the representatives of the people in our city. This is the right thinking. If at the start of the meeting he started divide them along the political line, I think that it is very hard to work with each other", he said.

When contacted, Mr. Mann Chhoeun played down the importance of the controversy. "I wish to suggest to you all that we should think about the development of our city. Don't think too much about our bickering", he told a reporter.

A statement released by the 8 SRP councillors said that they will refuse to participate in any future seminars under the chairmanship of Mr. Mann Chhoeun unless he changes his attitude because he had always tried to score a political point at every seminar in the past.

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