Self-exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy on Saturday appealed to Cambodia’s hundreds of thousands of migrant workers to return home in time to register to vote, reiterating hopes for a peaceful transition of power after elections in 2018.
“I appeal to the one million Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand to do their best – with the help of CNRP Members of Parliament and local officials if need be – to get registered as voters and to get their Cambodian national ID cards in time in order to be able to cast their ballots at the crucial 2017 and 2018 elections,” Rainsy wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday.
In a separate post, Rainsy again pointed to Myanmar, which recently underwent a historic democratic change in leadership, saying he expected Cambodia to follow its example in 2018.
Cambodian People’s Party spokesman Sok Eysan said his party had no intention to call for workers to return to register, saying it was up to them.
Regarding regime change, he said the government would respect the results of the election, but “there will be no transferring of power in 2018 because [the CPP] will continue to win”.