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Rainsy: PM will lose legitimacy after polls

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Sam Rainsy arrives to speak to the press in Tokyo in 2015. AFP

Rainsy: PM will lose legitimacy after polls

The former president of the now dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Sam Rainsy, believes the political situation in the Kingdom is ripe for change.

He said regardless of the results of the election, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s position will become untenable after he loses legitimacy. Exiled Rainsy, the current leader of the Cambodian National Rescue Movement, again called on the Cambodian people to boycott the July 29 national elections.

The boycott, he says, will strengthen the international community’s resolve not to recognise a Hun Sen poll victory.

Rainsy said on his Facebook page on Wednesday that it is the first time he has seen a positive political situation after the CNRP “was dissolved at the government’s behest, effectively killing democracy”.

“I have never seen such a favourable situation for change like this for the Cambodian people because the dictator has lapsed severely by dissolving the CNRP, ultimately dissolving the will of more than half the country. It has killed democracy in Cambodia,” Rainsy said.

He claimed the international community would not recognise an election without the CNRP, the only viable opposition party, reiterating the European Union’s stance.

Without international recognition of the election results, he claimed that Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) would not have a legitimate right to rule.

“Wait and see after July 29, after this joke of an election, no one will recognise Hun Sen and he will lose legitimacy. He will not be able to lead the country anymore.

We will be able bring about the true peace and positive change that we all have wanted for such a long time. We will achieve this only by abstaining from the election. I ask you to not to vote, then we will easily win,” Rainsy said.

But Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak mocked Rainsy’s comments, saying he too believed the situation is favourable – but for Hun Sen.

“What he said is not wrong. The political situation is good, but for the CPP. When the new government is formed after the vote, there will be no Rainsy, nor the other 118 in the National Assembly,” Sopheak said.

He was referring to the former CNRP officials and politicians who were banned from politics for five years following the party’s Supreme Court-mandated dissolution last year.

The possibility of the international community not recognising Hun Sen’s new mandate after the election, he said, is not important because the country belongs to the Cambodian people and no one else.

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