Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday warned CNRP acting president Kem Sokha that he could be arrested at any time and that there should be no attempt to pressure the government in regard to its handling of the ongoing case against him.
Speaking at the Customs and Excise Department’s 65th anniversary, a visibly angry premier, who at times used words considered rude to refer to Sokha, said the opposition leader was attempting to avoid jail time by using his supporters as a shield, but that he would be arrested when the time was right.
“Don’t be too daring! It is not the time for that,” Hun Sen said, in a veiled reference to Sokha. “If you do not go to jail, then the jail will find you.”
Hun Sen was seemingly reacting to Sokha’s recent interview with Reuters, in which he said the prime minister was scared he would lose the 2018 elections, though Sokha also called for “national reconciliation” talks to end the current tensions.
In a separate interview with Reuters yesterday, self-exiled party leader Sam Rainsy told the agency that he would return to Cambodia before next year’s commune elections and was still hopeful he could strike a political deal with Hun Sen.
CNRP lawmaker Mao Monivann said the party was not interested in the premier’s threats, noting that Hun Sen tended to use foul language when angry but would later calm down.
“Politicians in Cambodia have mature political experiences, and each one should be a good example for young generation politicians,” he said.