Battambang provincial police chief Uch Sokhon said Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), would be arrested if he returned to the Kingdom through any checkpoint in the province.
During a monthly meeting with provincial police forces on Tuesday, Sokhon said police were prepared to act on the court’s arrest warrant for the opposition figure.
His remarks were posted on the provincial police’s Facebook page on Tuesday and followed Rainsy’s claims that he would return to the country accompanied by EU parliamentarians.
“If Sam Rainsy appeared at the border, police officers based in the area must immediately arrest him on the court order . . . We have an obligation to maintain security and social order in the localities so you must act quickly if he showed up in areas under your jurisdiction,” he said.
Sokhon said police would not tolerate any attempt to undermine national security and development and were prepared to arrest anyone who intends to cause social chaos for political gains.
“Police at all levels and units must carefully monitor the situation and act quickly to stop ill-intended individuals from deceiving, intimidating and inciting the public. You must act quickly to thwart any attempt to topple the legitimate government,” he said.
Deputy provincial police chief Chet Vanny on Thursday told The Post that the authorities were prepared to arrest Rainsy. “I will follow the [police chief’s] instructions,” he said.
Neither Sokhon, provincial governor Nguon Ratanak nor Rainsy could be reached for comment on Thursday.
CNRP vice-president Mu Sochua said last month that the return of the CNRP leadership would be “peaceful, non-violent and in accordance with democratic principles”.
“We will return for democracy in a peaceful way as Cambodia is our nation. The CNRP planning committee has taken this joint decision after careful consideration,” Sochua said.