Oppositions warns of looming political crisis in Cambodia

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Sam Rainsy_RFA interview
Sam Rainsy in an interview with Radio Free Asia in Washington D.C. on June 16

Cambodia, ironically just named the “World Best Tourism Destination 2016,” seems to be running into a severe political crisis, at least when the country’s opposition leader Sam Rainsy, head and co-founder of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, is to be believed.

Rainsy, who lives in self-imposed exile in France and is currently on a trip to the US to meet state officials and American Cambodians, urged donor countries to reconsider their development assistance to Cambodia, saying they should not “do business as usual” and continue “to turn a blind eye to the growing political crisis” the country would face.

He said that international aid projects for Cambodia should be “paused and suspended” because the situation now was “at a tipping point.”

“In Cambodia, there is a serious crisis that we can even call an emergency because since the 1997 coup, the situation has not been as tough as nowadays, and the political heat has never been as hot and burning as now,” Rainsy told Voice of America.

He urged the Cambodian government to release detained human rights defenders and opposition party officials and activists. There should not be more arrests, he added. Last week, numerous protests were held around the world by Cambodian expatriate communities, who also called for the release of those they consider jailed for political reasons.

Rainsy has plans to compete in Cambodia’s general elections in July 2018 for the fifth time, trying to succeed incumbent Prime Minister Hun Sen. He asked foreign countries to send elections observers for the polls, as well as for the important commune council elections scheduled for June 2017.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Sam Rainsy in an interview with Radio Free Asia in Washington D.C. on June 16

Cambodia, ironically just named the “World Best Tourism Destination 2016,” seems to be running into a severe political crisis, at least when the country’s opposition leader Sam Rainsy, head and co-founder of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, is to be believed.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Sam Rainsy_RFA interview
Sam Rainsy in an interview with Radio Free Asia in Washington D.C. on June 16

Cambodia, ironically just named the “World Best Tourism Destination 2016,” seems to be running into a severe political crisis, at least when the country’s opposition leader Sam Rainsy, head and co-founder of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, is to be believed.

Rainsy, who lives in self-imposed exile in France and is currently on a trip to the US to meet state officials and American Cambodians, urged donor countries to reconsider their development assistance to Cambodia, saying they should not “do business as usual” and continue “to turn a blind eye to the growing political crisis” the country would face.

He said that international aid projects for Cambodia should be “paused and suspended” because the situation now was “at a tipping point.”

“In Cambodia, there is a serious crisis that we can even call an emergency because since the 1997 coup, the situation has not been as tough as nowadays, and the political heat has never been as hot and burning as now,” Rainsy told Voice of America.

He urged the Cambodian government to release detained human rights defenders and opposition party officials and activists. There should not be more arrests, he added. Last week, numerous protests were held around the world by Cambodian expatriate communities, who also called for the release of those they consider jailed for political reasons.

Rainsy has plans to compete in Cambodia’s general elections in July 2018 for the fifth time, trying to succeed incumbent Prime Minister Hun Sen. He asked foreign countries to send elections observers for the polls, as well as for the important commune council elections scheduled for June 2017.

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