In an interview with Radio France International in Paris on Monday, Hun Manet, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s eldest son, defended the arrest of opposition leader Kem Sokha, claiming the move did not weaken democracy, but strengthened it through rule of law.
Manet said the law did not target the opposition, but was created to protect the nation.
“For this Kem Sokha case, it is the implementation of law. Previously there was concern that the arrest might weaken the democracy. I think the law was created to protect the national interests and people’s interests. It is not for an individual or a politician,” he said on Monday.
Despite France’s condemnation of Sokha’s arrest, this is Manet’s second meeting with high-ranking French officials. The French Embassy has not responded to requests for comment.
Manet also spoke to CPP supporters in England, Switzerland and Germany, where he was sometimes met with protests.
Manet dismissed the protests as ineffective on Facebook.
“There is provocation of [the Cambodia National Rescue Party] activists who managed to gather about 50 protesters, but they could not prevent the meeting of 900 Cambodians,” he wrote of a gathering in France.
Political analyst Lao Mong Hay, however, said Manet’s comments did not reflect reality, “because the truth is that there is no [democracy]”.
“The multiparty democracy requires free and fair elections and political parties acting equally,” he said.