Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday accused the Cambodia National Rescue Party of being “traitorous” in its approach to the culture of dialogue, labelling the opposition a “landmine” that he needs to be cautious of.
The remarks were made during a speech at the Sokha Hotel, with the premier warning his opponents that they are no match for his ruling party.
“I will win as prime minister in 2018 and you [CNRP] can’t expect to win, even if you campaign every day as if you are winners and call for change.”
He added that the CNRP had “not been honest” in the increasingly tenuous culture of dialogue between the two parties, which he considered “traitorous behaviour”.
Hun Sen also renewed warnings that a CNRP victory would lead to war, and went on to say that any attempt to overthrow his government would not be tolerated, calling on the military to ensure order while he is abroad at a UN summit.
The premier also lambasted opposition comments, including comparisons by the Sam Rainsy Party in 2011 between him and deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddaffi.
“What does it mean when you compared me to Gaddafi? . . . I need an explanation, otherwise you [CNRP] get nothing from me; you have no big card to bargain with now,” he said.
Opposition spokesman Yim Sovann said the remarks were another sign of increased threats by the ruling party, and that in “a free and fair election, the CPP has no ability to challenge” the CNRP.