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

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman