Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen offers Rainsy bet on arrest within 24 hours of return

Hun Sen offers Rainsy bet on arrest within 24 hours of return

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sam Rainsy and Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Senate in 2014. Heng Chivoan

Hun Sen offers Rainsy bet on arrest within 24 hours of return

Hun Sen has offered Sam Rainsy a wager regarding his announced return to Cambodia on November 9, with the prime minister to step down should the latter do so and not be arrested within 24 hours.

The prime minister’s bet on Friday came after Rainsy last week called on him to resign should he return on the specified date.

The “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party responded with a wager of his own on Friday that Hun Sen should step down should the number of supporters out to greet him on his return number a million.

Neither is yet to accept the other’s offer.

Rainsy who lives in France to avoid a slew of court cases and convictions has promised to return numerous times but failed to do so.

“If I arrest you, you have to be brave and end your political career, agreeing to dissolve all the organisations you have created.

“If you are not brave enough to return to Cambodia, you have to end your political career and dissolve all your organisations. Are you brave to accept this bet?” Hun Sen asked.

Hun Sen said he also prayed that anyone not honouring the bet would be destroyed, including Rainsy’s whole family.

He reiterated on Friday that whether Rainsy accepted the bet or not, he would be arrested should he return.

Rainsy took to Facebook on Friday to offer his own wager.

“If the number of CNRP supporters who come – without obstruction – to greet me is less than one million, I will accept arrest by Hun Sen’s forces and put an end to my political career.

“But if the number of CNRP supporters reaches or exceeds one million, Hun Sen will have to step down immediately,” Rainsy told The Post on Sunday.

The bet should be observed by the UN and the international media, especially with regards to respecting condition “without obstruction” and the actual number of people who showed up to welcome him, he said.

He said if Hun Sen rejected his bet, it showed that he was “a real dictator” who was “shameful and afraid of his people, whose opinion he rejects”.

“As for the bet initiated by Hun Sen, it is a despicable one because it revolves only around the use of brute force on the part of a despicable dictator,” Rainsy said.

Hun Sen said on Friday that Rainy’s wager was “ridiculous”.

“It is ridiculous and shows the clear intention that [he] wants to escape law enforcement by the Cambodian authorities. It is also just a pretext to not return to Cambodia,” Hun Sen said.

Whether or not the bet was accepted, police would arrest Rainsy with a court warrant and put him in jail within 24 hours of his arrival, the prime minister said.

Rainsy reiterated on Sunday that his plan to return on November 9 had not changed.

On Sunday, ruling Cambodian People’s Party spokesman Sok Eysan called Rainsy the “leader of a rebel group”.

He said Rainsy had changed the conditions of the wager on his return to escape jail. He said Rainsy had initiated many bets because he was not brave enough to come back to Cambodia.

“There are two options which are a dilemma for Rainsy – if he returns, he will go to jail. And if he doesn’t, the public will lose trust in him,” Eysan said.

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said: “They have both gone to extremes for their egos and power, engaging in a duel to the death, leaving no room for any compromise and ignoring the welfare of the people.”

Sok Touch, the president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said on Sunday that Hun Sen’s bet could not be accepted by Rainsy, and Rainsy’s could not be accepted by Hun Sen.

He said the position of prime minister came from national elections held every five years, and Hun Sen should not step down from power just because Rainsy had returned.

He said doing so would go against the Constitution.

“The Constitution states that every five years there are national elections. The transition of power comes through elections, not by Rainsy stepping foot on Cambodian soil.

“Secondly, the bet by Hun Sen is something Rainsy would be happy to respond to. [Hun Sen and Raisy] keep challenging back and forth, but that’s not in line with the law,” Touch said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Second Hungary business forum set for H2

    Cambodia has asked Hungary to provide GSP- (Generalised System of Preferences) Plus facilities for when the Kingdom sheds its least-developed country (LDC) label, as the two countries prepare to hold a second business forum in the second half (H2) of this year to expand trade

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports

  • CPP sets out five primary strategic goals for 2023-28

    The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) on January 29 concluded its two-day extraordinary congress, setting the party’s priority goals for 2023-2028. The ruling party’s congress was attended by more than 3,000 members from across the Kingdom, including the members of the permanent and central committees,

  • Nearly 50 states join Kun Khmer Federation, all set for training

    In a little over a week, the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) has accepted membership requests from 20 new nations, in addition to the exiting 29. The sudden influx of international recognition stems from the Kingdom’s successful introduction of Kun Khmer to the 32nd Souheast Asian (