Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM’s attempt to ‘split’ CNRP will fail: Rainsy

PM’s attempt to ‘split’ CNRP will fail: Rainsy

CNRP leader Sam Rainsy speaks about ruling and opposition party strategies with Radio France International on Sunday. Photo supplied
CNRP leader Sam Rainsy speaks about ruling and opposition party strategies with Radio France International on Sunday. Photo supplied

PM’s attempt to ‘split’ CNRP will fail: Rainsy

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy said that Prime Minister Hun Sen is “dreaming” if he believes he can split the leadership of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, describing deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha as his “life-long partner in the rescue of the nation”.

Speaking to Radio France International on Sunday night, Rainsy recalled that during the so-called culture of dialogue between himself and Hun Sen in 2015, the premier had treated him much like he was now attempting to treat Sokha.

“When I was in Cambodia, he said the same. He said Sam Rainsy is his partner, [and that] he liked working with Sam Rainsy – but he could not work with Kem Sokha,” Rainsy said during the interview. “He wanted to split Kem Sokha and I, but he failed.”

“So then he came close to Kem Sokha,” Rainsy said, before adding that he did not believe the strategy would work. “Hun Sen is just dreaming when he thinks he can split Sam Rainsy from Kem Sokha. This delusion will lead to the resounding failure of his strategy.”

Rainsy and Sokha, who had led two rival parties deeply distrustful of each other, created the CNRP a month after their catastrophic showings at the July 2012 commune elections. The party subsequently came within seven seats of victory at the July 2013 national election.

Rainsy in his interview said the two were now completely united and that he considered Sokha to be his “life-long partner in the rescue of the nation”.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said yesterday that Rainsy was imagining things and that the reason Hun Sen switched from working with Rainsy and rejecting Sokha to rejecting Rainsy and only working with Sokha was because only Sokha was in Cambodia.

“In fact, it is Sam Rainsy who attacked him from the back. He was the one who broke relations,” Eysan said, without elaborating on what Rainsy did. The opposition leader fled the country in November 2015 after a years-old prison conviction was suddenly reignited.

“If Sam Rainsy cannot work with him, who will work with Hun Sen? In the National Assembly, the two parties need to communicate,” he said. “Hun Sen has no choice – he chooses the one who can talk.”

Ou Virak, head of think tank the Future Forum, said he believed Rainsy was correct that the premier was trying to split him from Sokha but that the strategy’s chances for success depended wholly on the CNRP.

“It’s not strange in the political game for one to weaken the other, but what is important is what strategy the CNRP has for their party strength,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the