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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM ‘afraid’ to face me one on one, says Rainsy

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy talks to supporters during a party event in Siem Reap on Saturday. Photo supplied
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy talks to supporters during a party event in Siem Reap on Saturday. Photo supplied

PM ‘afraid’ to face me one on one, says Rainsy

Despite his party’s pledge to refrain from personal attacks on the ruling party and its leader, Prime Minister Hun Sen, self-exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy couldn’t help but take a jab at his “coward” of a competitor while speaking in Canada at the weekend.

Addressing supporters in Montreal, the Cambodia National Rescue Party president employed a boxing metaphor to describe what he says is the premier’s strategy of selecting smaller opponents in political fights, suggesting only he, and the CNRP, are of an equal weight class to make the coming elections a meaningful bout.

“To make the election meaningful, to make it worthy, there needs to be the presence of both the party presidents fighting on Cambodian territory,” Rainsy told the crowd, before having a dig at the premier, who he later said acted like a big old man claiming victory over a small child in the boxing ring.

“The one who does not let Sam Rainsy return, he is afraid of Sam Rainsy. He is a coward. If he was brave . . . he would fight one on one.”

Rainsy, who in November reneged on a pledge to return and contest charges that could see him jailed, again vowed to come back before the 2018 elections despite facing prison time.

He also called for Cambodians abroad to shun efforts by the ruling party to increase its popularity overseas, saying if the government was serious about courting the diaspora, they would allow them to vote.

Rejecting Rainsy’s case as political and taking issue with his fighting words, CPP spokesman Sous Yara said no one was stopping the CNRP president from returning to Cambodia.

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Don Rennie's picture

Dear Sokchea,

Rainsy is right. The PM is scared sh*tless to face Rainsy.

Yara's comment "Rejecting Rainsy’s case as political and taking issue with his fighting words, CPP spokesman Sous Yara said no one was stopping the CNRP president from returning to Cambodia" is pure crap. Remove the legal restraints imposed by the CPP backed courts and restore Rainsy's right to be a law maker that was removed by the CPP. The problem is not Rainsy, it is the CPP.

When this happens, I guarantee anyone 100% the PM will still be politically and socially afraid to meet Rainsy face-to-face now and anytime in the future.

Don Rennie

Asok's picture

Cambodian people support CNRP despite of Sam Rainsy not because of him. Sam Rainsy is a weak leader always ran away from conflict even before it start. He never spend a day in house arrest or one day in prison, and many of CNRP supporters have. Many things can be said about Hun Sen but coward he is not. A coward is you Mr. Sam Rainsy, never even come close to a battle, always ran away at the first sign of danger. All you know is luxury hotel, delicious food, and pleasant surrounding, and self promotion. When will you change and become a real leader, endure hardship and adversity like CNRP members and supporters.

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