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Rainsy says removal ‘insult’ to King

Cambodia National Rescue Party president Sam Rainsy prepares to speak in Tokyo last month.
Cambodia National Rescue Party president Sam Rainsy prepares to speak in Tokyo last month. AFP

Rainsy says removal ‘insult’ to King

More than a month since he last stepped foot in Cambodia, opposition leader Sam Rainsy on Sunday once again took to Facebook, decrying the decision to strip his lawmaker status as “an insult to the King”.

The Cambodia National Rescue Party president faces three separate legal cases, widely considered politically motivated, and has opted for self-imposed exile in Europe, despite an initial pledge to return.

Since the first warrant emerged on November 13, ordering Rainsy to spend two years in prison over a long-dormant conviction for defaming Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, the CNRP leader has posted more than 40 items on his Facebook page, which is followed by 1.8 million people.

Sunday’s addition argues that the decision to remove his lawmaker status actually made fools out the people, including King Norodom Sihamoni, who presided over his swearing-in as a parliamentarian last year.

“[This] appears as a very offensive statement that looks down on His Majesty the King and all the other VIPs who took part in the 5 August 2014 swearing-in ceremony by implying that they are just stupid!” Rainsy posted.

Justifying the widely criticised decision, the parliament’s permanent committee has said enforcement of the 2011 conviction meant Rainsy was considered a “criminal” and, by extension, unable to hold office.

Meanwhile, Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) president Kong Korm, who recently announced his resignation as a senator, yesterday declared he would remain in politics by becoming an adviser to the CNRP.

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