Kong Korm, the former acting president of the defunct Sam Rainsy Party, on Wednesday dismissed his one-time opposition ally’s announcement that his planned return this year will lead to a rebellion and the arrest of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Korm said the words of Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), should not be believed, also calling his politics “divisive”.
Korm mockingly wrote on Facebook: “Hun Sen won’t arrest Sam Rainsy, but the people will stand up together with Sam Rainsy to arrest Hun Sen!"
“By getting rid of Hun Sen, Cambodia, which has lost land and is in debt, will see its land returned and the debt eliminated! The price of agricultural produce will be higher, and the salaries of government officials and the minimum wage of workers will go up.”
Korm, the honorary president of his son Monika’s Khmer Will Party, added: “[Ignore] the language of Sam Rainsy and his stated attempt to stand up and seize power ... for [his] imagination has only ever brought conflict and destruction from the beginning to the end.”
Ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman Sok Eysan said via Telegram: “The possibility of the convict [Sam Rainsy] arresting [Prime Minister] Hun Sen is nil because this convict will be immediately arrested as soon as he arrives at the airport.”
Kin Phea, the director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said Rainsy’s statement was not designed to bring about positive change but was part of a political strategy to cause instability.
“This is a political speech that Sam Rainsy made to encourage himself and his supporters, but in reality, whenever he arrives in Cambodia, he will be arrested immediately,” he said.
Following Rainsy’s announcement that he plans to return this year, the General Department of Immigration has ordered international airports and border checkpoints to cooperate with the relevant authorities effectively.
“There is information saying that Sam Rainsy will return to Cambodia. In this sense, the director-general of the General Department of Immigration should newly remind His/Her Excellencies, deputy directors-general and international border checkpoints to take action and cooperate with the relevant authorities effectively,” the announcement said.
Meanwhile, Kem Monovithya, the eldest daughter of Km Sokha, the president of the former CNRP who is on bail facing a charge of treason, distanced herself from a Facebook post slamming Rainsy’s announcement.
A statement carrying the CNRP logo and dated Wednesday was posted on Monovithya’s Facebook page saying the party expressed grave disappointment that a group of people, led by Rainsy, who launched “a party coup”, sought to destroy party hope through continued lies to supporters that he would finally return to Cambodia this year.
“This is emotional cheating to bring fake hope and which is not true. This is merely a strategy of the group that conducted a party coup [the nomination of Rainsy as acting CNRP president while Sokha awaits trial] who speak loudly in all circumstances in order to avoid people from forgetting their names and faces."
“[We] call on activists and people to stop wasting time with the fake promises that will cost you even more time and money,” the statement said.
Monovithya denied posting the Facebook statement. “It is fake. It is not my account,” she said.