Phnom Penh (FN), March 23 – The Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP)’s Extraordinary Congress to choose the new president and vice presidents conducted on March 2, 2017 was illegal, according the Ministry of Interior (MoI)’s letter issued on Thursday morning.

“According to the Criteria of CNRP delivered to the Ministry of Interior (MoI) on May 10, 2013, the absence of the former leader must be at least 18 months. The CRNP filled the positions in less than two months. Therefore, the election of Kem Sokha as the new CNRP president and the other three vice presidents violates article 47 of Criteria of Political Party”, the MoI stated in a letter sent to a CNRP senior official Yem Sovann.

The CNRP held an Extraordinary Congress on March 2, 2017 to elect Kem Sokha as the new CNRP president.

Pol Ham, Mu Sochua, and Eng Chhay Eang have been elected as the three Vice Presidents of the party.

The MoI also requested the CNRP to change its slogan from "Replace commune leaders serving the ruling party with commune leaders serving people”, as it is in conflict with the 1993 Constitution, Political Parties Law, the Law on the Elections of Commune Councils, and the Law on Administration Management of Commune, Pluralist Liberal Democracy of Cambodia, and the principles of proportional representation election.