Gov’t: Rainsy’s ‘coup plot’ a failure

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Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party. AFP

The government on Wednesday commended the Kingdom’s security forces for thwarting the attempted “coup plot” by former opposition leader Sam Rainsy through his announced return to Cambodia on November 9.

The comments came as Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), renewed his vow to return to the Kingdom after failing to do so on Saturday.

On Wednesday, the government deemed Rainsy’s attempted plot for November 9, which was to coincide with the Kingdom’s 66th Independence Day, a complete failure.

Instead of joining his movement, it said people had joyfully participated in the eating of ambok (flattened rice) as a symbol of national unity during the three-day Water Festival over the following days.

The government also sought understanding from vendors along the border whose business was disrupted by the deployment of armed forces at international checkpoints to strengthen security.

“The government would like to express its appreciation and deep thanks to the armed forces and authorities at all levels for fulfilling their roles in a highly responsible manner to maintain who have fled to Thailand. For those who have had arrest warrants issued, I’ll ask the justice ministry to work on that.

“Our country follows the French judicial system, with the government having jurisdiction over criminal policy. So the Minister of Justice has the right to work with prosecutors on criminal issues.

“The prosecutors who have issued arrest warrants for [the CNRP activists] should revoke them to let them return to the country,” the prime minister said.

Ministry of Justice spokesman Chin Malin told The Post on Thursday that the move was not interference in judicial affairs.

He stressed that based on Article 454 of the Criminal Code, Hun Sen’s request was completely legal, with hundreds of the activists who had confessed having charges dropped and those who had been charged released on bail.

“We hope that our brothers and sisters who have been cheated by the convict Sam Rainsy will be released,” he said.

The wife of Ly Meng Kheang, Sieng Lim, waiting for his release in front of a prison in Kandal province’s Sa’ang district, told The Post on Thursday that she was happy that her husband could eventually return to his family.

She said she wanted her husband released because she is seven months pregnant and has two other children to care for.

“He is the breadwinner with kids to look after. One is five years old and the other is nine. If he comes home, he can help take care of me when I give birth,” said Lim.

Political analyst Em Sovannara told The Post on Thursday that if prosecutors were to do as Hun Sen had said, the political situation would be less tense.