A jubilant crowd of opposition supporters burst into wild cheers this afternoon as seven Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmakers and one party activist were released on bail just hours after an announced rapprochement between the CNRP and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.
With separate male and female exits, it was lawmakers elect Ho Vann, Real Camerin, Men Sothavarin, Keo Phirom, Long Ry and Nuth Romduol, along with Oeun Narith, who first emerged from Prey Sar prison to hugs, tears and flower garlands placed around their necks.
But moments later, it was senior opposition leader Mu Sochua who addressed the adoring crowd.
"I'm proud. I'm really proud of my people. I’m proud to be a Cambodian woman and you can see that the support and desire of the Cambodian people is nothing but reconciliation and justice,” she said before a car spirited her away.
"Democracy, true democracy."
The CNRP members were arrested last week and hit with a range of charges, including insurrection, after demonstrators and security guards loyal to Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party violently clashed at Freedom Park in Phnom Penh, leaving several guards and activists injured.
While free on bail, the eight still face an eventual court hearing, municipal court judge Keo Mony told the Post earlier today.
Days after the arrest of the eight, Rainsy cut short a trip to Europe and returned home, calling for a resolution to the deadlock that set in after national elections last July, whose results the opposition challenged. That resolution came today, following a meeting of just a few hours at the Senate.