Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen says if CNRP was legalised Kingdom could ‘not avoid’ conflict

Hun Sen says if CNRP was legalised Kingdom could ‘not avoid’ conflict

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Speaking to garment workers in Kandal province, Prime Minister Hun Sen denied he was behind the creation of 19 other parties. facebook

Hun Sen says if CNRP was legalised Kingdom could ‘not avoid’ conflict

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday said the Kingdom could “not avoid a war” if the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) is legalised and its former president Kem Sokha went unpunished.

He also denied the theory that he was behind the creation of minor political parties.

A former CNRP lawmaker shot back that his court-dissolved party only practised non-violent protests, while a political analyst contended that the prime minister’s statement was a scare tactic.

Speaking before more than 27,500 garment workers in Kandal province, Hun Sen made reference to Sokha, who has been in pretrial detention in Tbong Khmum province since his arrest on “treason” charges in September last year.

He asked voters: “Why do you want to change [leaders]? The new is not necessarily more capable than the old.

“It is even more dangerous when they attempt to cause [chaos]. Cambodia cannot avoid war if the president of that party is not punished and it [the CNRP] was not dissolved,” he said.

The prime minister also denied he had a hand in creating any of the minor parties taking part in the July 29 polls.

Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who is now president of the Cambodia National Rescue Movement (CNRM), has regularly called the small parties firefly parties, or puppets of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

“[He called them] our puppet parties which meant that I created all of the parties, but they are all intellectuals. They are all leaders. They are politicians who compete with the ruling party,” Hun Sen said.

“I will be prime minister for at least another 10 years. I want to fight that b— who destroyed the country, national unity, sovereignty, and gave away four provinces to another country,” Hun Sen said.

He was referring to a case where Rainsy stands accused of treason for promising autonomy to Montagnard minorities living in Cambodia’s northeastern provinces.

Former CNRP lawmaker Ou Chanrath denied Hun Sen’s accusation, claiming his former party did not hold grudges or advocate violence.

“I did not think that way because my party has clear policies to strive for national unity. We never had a policy of using violence. We speak about taking no revenge and do not take any Khmer as an enemy. We publicly announced it all the time,” Chanrath said.

Paul Chambers, a lecturer and special adviser for international affairs at Thailand’s Naresuan University, contended that Hun Sen’s statement had a specific purpose.

“His remarks amount to mere political rhetoric in an attempt to frighten garment workers to vote for his CPP while painting Kem Sokha and the CNRP as a nuisance and enemy of the state,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kem Sokha’s daughters slam ‘liar’ Sam Rainsy over ‘smears’

    The daughters of former opposition leader Kem Sokha hit out at Sam Rainsy on Tuesday, accusing the newly nominated “acting president” of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) of leading a “smear campaign” against their father and “repeatedly lying to the public”. The Supreme Court-dissolved

  • US Embassy urges reconciliation

    The US has urged Cambodia to restore the independence of the media, drop charges against Kem Sokha and other political prisoners, and end the prohibition of political activity by opposition parties. However, senior government officials see the request, issued by US embassy spokesman Arend C

  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Government deports 235 Chinese scammers

    THE Immigration Department of the Ministry of Interior on Thursday deported 235 Chinese nationals, 35 of whom were female, via the Phnom Penh International Airport for their part in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) online money extortion scam. The deportees were arrested on November 26 over the