The cull is continuing for members of Nhek Bun Chhay’s Khmer National United Party, with the government ousting 12 more members from state jobs for remaining loyal to the former military chief, who fell afoul of Prime Minister Hun Sen last month.
According to a letter dated July 18, signed by King Norodom Sihamoni on the recommendation of the premier, 12 members of the party were stripped of their positions as government advisers.
Similar dismissals were delivered to five KNUP members last month in the wake of Bun Chhay’s own ousting as an adviser to the government.
His termination came after suggestions that he had pledged to cooperate with the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, which he has denied.
According to the most recent dismissal letters, those dumped from adviser roles are Kuch Moly, Nhek Kim Chhun, Keo Ratha, Mao Sovannarith, Chea Bamrong, Sok Run, Hem Chhin, Sam Porath, Peng Soseng, Chhuoy Chanrong, Chen Pien and Phuong Viney.
The latter said he refused to abandon his leader. “I don’t believe that he cooperated with the Cambodia National Rescue Party,” Viney said.
According to another list of advisers, at least 10 KNUP members have kept their state jobs, however one of those people, who declined to be named, said each had defected to either the ruling Cambodian People’s Party or the royalist Funcinpec.