Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM fires back after ‘coward’ remark

PM fires back after ‘coward’ remark

PM fires back after ‘coward’ remark

Prime Minister Hun Sen lashed out in public yesterday at opposition leader Sam Rainsy, accusing him of high-tailing it out of the country in fear so as to avoid a prison sentence that has barred him from running in the national election in July.

Speaking to several hundred people at a ceremony to mark the completion of the Num temple at Nunmony pagoda, in Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey district, Hun Sen responded to comments by Rainsy a few days ago, when he called the premier a “coward” for allegedly blocking him from standing in the election.

“There is a guy that said that I am a coward; I would like to send a verbal message that I didn’t push you [Rainsy] out of the country ,and I never put a ban on you entering the country,” Hun Sen said.

 “I would like to be clear and confirm to people in this country and [around] the world that there is no one barring him. Please come.”

Hun Sen said Rainsy should resign as head of the opposition party, because he was always leading the party to election losses.

“I’ve beaten you three times already, and if I were you I’d resign as party leader,” he said.

Rights groups, foreign governments and civil society have urged the government to allow all political participants, including Rainsy, to compete in the July elections.

But because of his criminal conviction, Rainsy is barred from running for office in Cambodia.

Rainsy has lived in self-exile since 2010 after Cambodian courts sentenced him in absentia to a total of 12 years on a host of charges, including uprooting a post on Cambodia’s border with Vietnam and producing Google maps he used to allege territorial encroachment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ethnic group ‘disappointed’ to be denied French visas to attend court

    Eleven people at the centre of a case involving seven indigenous Bunong villages in Mondulkiri province pursuing legal action in France have expressed disappointment after the French embassy in Phnom Penh denied their visa applications to attend court. A press release said the 11 included a

  • EBA withdrawal provides ‘opportunity for growth’

    Economic analyst Khoun Bunny said on Tuesday that the loss of the EU’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement could be a golden opportunity for Cambodia to show it deserved to be ranked sixth on the list of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Government

  • Malaysia MP accused of ‘influencing law’

    Malaysian Member of Parliament (MP) Larry Sng arrived in Siem Reap early on Wednesday, in what was slammed by one NGO as efforts by Kuala Lumpur to “influence Cambodian law”. The Malaysian Embassy in Phnom Penh requested on January 30 “cooperation from the Ministry of Foreign

  • Ministries begin measures to offset EU’s EBA decision

    In the wake of the EU’s controversial announcement this week that it has begun the withdrawal process for Cambodia’s Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential agreement, government ministries and political analysts continued to share their reactions and economic mitigation plans in preparation for the