Confusion prevailed at the minor Cambodia National Love Party on Friday after a party statement dissolved the party and asked supporters to migrate to the ruling CPP — but a senior party leader called the statement fake.
A statement by the Love Party was posted on party president Chiv Cata’s Facebook page at Friday around noon, announcing the dissolution of the party and calling for supporters to join the CPP.
“The reason for the dissolution of the Cambodia National Love Party is because we have seen the right leadership of Samdech Techo Hun Sen,” reads the statement.
It also supports constitutional amendments that are making their way through parliament and will likely be ratified soon.
However, party treasurer Siev Visoth quickly posted on Facebook that the statement was forged, and said the stamp used was not authentic and there were other irregularities with the image circulated online. Visoth had been unable to contact Cata and party vice president Kong Kimhak since the statement was made public, he said.
VOD was unable to reach the party president and vice president either on Friday.
“I feel regretful and disappointed as it is completely opposite the stance of the Cambodian National Love Party,” Visoth told VOD Friday afternoon.
He said that there were nine senior officials in the party, including him, and he was not aware of any decision to dissolve the party. He added that Cata was on medical leave for two months and that another party official, Tan Tin, had been made interim president.
But Tin announced his resignation on Thursday night while announcing his support for the CPP-led constitutional amendments, Visoth said.
“We don’t understand why it has become like this. I don’t understand yet and will meet with other leaders to talk about this matter,” he said.
Tin confirmed to VOD that he had resigned from the party, but did not want to comment further. “I cannot tell you. Please forgive me,” he said when asked if he had joined the CPP.
The Love Party is one of a handful of CNRP-linked parties that emerged after the main opposition party’s dissolution in 2017, and won five commune council seats at the June election. The party was formed in January 2020 by Cata and Kimhak, who were CNRP lawmakers until the party was dissolved.
Chhim Kan, director of the Interior Ministry’s department of associations and political parties, said he had not seen any formal letter requesting dissolution of the party. He would have to look at the party bylaws and see if the correct procedures were followed by officials.
National Election Committee spokesperson Hang Puthea said the election body had nothing to do with parties dissolving themselves, but would recalculate council seat allocations if the party was ended.