Political veteran Kong Korm on Monday sent a letter to EU Ambassador George Edgar accusing his one-time ally Sam Rainsy of using the president of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Kem Sokha, as a means to prevent improvements in democracy and human rights.
Korm told Edgar of his belief that, as the EU’s procedure to withdraw Cambodia’s access to its preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme is underway, he had noted Sokha’s release on bail from prison to his home in Phnom Penh.
The honorary president of the Khmer Will Party, Korm said Edgar would also have been aware of the recent amendment to the Law on Political Parties which opens the way for the 115 remaining CNRP officials banned by the Supreme Court to resume politics.
“I, the same as [the EU Ambassador], hope that democracy and human rights in Cambodia continue to improve. But it is regrettable that the convict Sam Rainsy, the acting president of the CNRP, and a handful of his group have used Kem Sokha, the true president, and the banned CNRP officials as a means to prevent democracy and human rights from improving quickly, as is wanted by all.”
Korm also reminded Edgar that Rainsy and his supporters recently called on all Cambodians including soldiers to rise up against Prime Minister Hun Sen so Rainsy could come to power.
“As a former senior adviser to the CNRP who has just had his ban removed and the current honorary president of the Khmer Will Party, [I] would like to express regret should the EU decide to withdraw Cambodia’s access to EBA."
“Such a decision would not uphold the principles of the EU regarding the development of Cambodia or help promote democracy and the respect for human rights.”
He said: “I strongly hope that [the EU Ambassador realises] that any decision to withdraw EBA from Cambodia will only serve the ambitions of Sam Rainsy and his group, who are outside the law, and place suffering on innocent people.”