Prime Minister Hun Sen (C) departs for Indonesia yesterday while Interior Minister Sar Keng (L), Deputy Prime Minister Sok An (2nd L), Defence Minister Tea Banh (2nd R) and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong look on. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen left for Indonesia yesterday to attend an ASEAN conference for parliamentarians from member states.
The otherwise drab-sounding event packs a twist, though, as opposition and self-exiled leader Sam Rainsy is expected to also be in attendance.
Rainsy, who is self-exiled in France after being convicted of charges that his supporters claim are politically motivated, told the Post yesterday that he held a meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa on September 13 over the political situation in Cambodia.
“I can only say that I requested to Marty and other parliamentarians to support the UN Special Rapporteur for Cambodia on his recommendations for election organisation in Cambodia,” Rainsy said.
He was referring to Surya Subedi, who wrote in an August report to the UN that a political solution should be found to enable Rainsy, as the leader of the opposition, to play a full role in Cambodian politics.
Rainsy did not elaborate further or go into detail about any interactions he might have with Hun Sen on the trip, though it would be their first public meeting in several years.
The Cambodian Democratic Movement for National Rescue, which Rainsy chairs from abroad, has been seeking support for the opposition from ASEAN states.
Opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua yesterday pointed to an action by the Philippine Senate, which unanimously adopted a resolution supporting Subedi’s recommendations on the national elections.
Sochua did not know if Rainsy and Hun Sen would meet at the conference.
Srey Thamrong, Hun Sen’s adviser, told reporters at the Phnom Penh International Airport that the premier was scheduled to deliver a speech at the opening ceremony last night and will return home this morning.
To contact the reporter on this story: Vong Sokheng at [email protected]