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Rainsy pledges to rejoin CNRP after court ruling

Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy speaks to the press after a meeting in Phnom Penh in 2015.
Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy speaks to the press after a meeting in Phnom Penh in 2015. Pha Lina

Rainsy pledges to rejoin CNRP after court ruling

Former CNRP President Sam Rainsy on Saturday told opposition supporters that he will rejoin the party after November 16, regardless of the Supreme Court ruling expected that day on the party’s dissolution.

The self-exiled Cambodia National Rescue Party co-founder resigned in February after amendments to the Law on Political Parties made it illegal for a party to associate or collude with a convicted criminal – a move widely seen as targeting Rainsy because of his prior convictions. Another set of amendments in July expanded on these restrictions by forbidding parties from using the image or voice of convicts.

Speaking to supporters in the United States, Rainsy said he would no longer kowtow to Hun Sen’s orders and would rejoin the party after the November 16 dissolution hearing, though without clarifying in what capacity.

“So, on the 16th, if they dissolve the CNRP, I will go back to CNRP. And even if they won’t dissolve the CNRP, I will still join the CNRP,” he said in Long Beach, California. “We won’t walk after Hun Sen, but we want Hun Sen to run after us.”

Party Deputy President Mu Sochua said Rainsy had consistently reiterated that Kem Sokha was the party’s president and didn’t say he wanted to lead the CNRP.

“He is just going to join the party, but we don’t know in what capacity,” she said. “We don’t care what Hun Sen says is the law.”

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