Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that Cambodians who reside overseas and seek to threaten the Kingdom’s democracy will not be able to disguise themselves as a “civilian group” if they intend to return home to dispute the results of the upcoming national election.

“They will be considered as extremists who threaten the nation,” he said in an April 30 social media post.

He warned that an April 30 meeting by one such group who sought to disguise themselves as a civilian group could not be hidden from him, and questioned their motives.

“How long do you intend to try to destroy Cambodia? You say you want democracy, but oppose the election and indeed are already prepared to declare opposition to the election results,” he asked rhetorically.

He said Cambodians who live abroad and those with dual-nationalities were often out of touch with the mood of the people in the motherland, while also reminding them that the Kingdom would brook no foreign interference in its affairs.

“Do not forget that the people who stay with you are also my men. It is difficult for you to visit your homeland because you are considered an extremist group who seeks to bring about the destruction of the nation,” he said.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the anti-government sentiments of some Cambodian people and politicians abroad has lasted for more than 30 years and had not contributed to the growth of the Kingdom.

“They have lost sight of the importance of developing the country. Their opposition seems to be based on misguided notions of personal vengeance, or long-past historical viewpoints. Their attitudes are anti-national, and do not benefit the Kingdom or people,” he explained.

He urged that following the election, people need to accept the results and participate in national development together, regardless of their differing perspectives or geographical locations.

“Obviously, no patriotic Cambodian would seek to use any form of political forum against their own nation,” he said.