Rainsy elec­tion boy­cott call a ‘betrayal of King’

The Phnom Penh Post - - NATIONAL - Ben Sokhean

DEPUTY Prime Min­is­ter Hor Namhong on Wed­nes­day crit­i­cised calls from former Cam­bo­dia Na­tional Res­cue Party (CNRP) leader Sam Rainsy to boy­cott the July 29 elec­tions as a “betrayal to the King, na­tion and peo­ple”.

He also la­belled Rainsy “stupid” in com­par­ing him­self with the late King Fa­ther Norodom Si­hanouk, who went into ex­ile af­ter a mil­i­tary coup, led by the Lon Nol regime, forced him out as the head of state in 1970, be­fore he re­turned to the King­dom in the1990s.

“I think Sam Rainsy, who com­pared him­self with the late King Fa­ther Norodom Si­hanouk, who was forced out by mil­i­tary coup and had to escape [to other coun­tries] for decades, be­fore re­turn­ing to the throne . . . made a stupid com­par­i­son.”

Rainsy, who stands ac­cused of vi­o­lat­ing the King­dom’s new­ly­passed lèse ma­jesté laws, called a mis­sive by the King urg­ing cit­i­zens to vote a “forgery”, claim­ing he was con­vinced it was “writ­ten un­der duress”.

In an in­ter­view with Fresh News pub­lished on Wed­nes­day, Namhong branded Rainsy’s state­ments as trea­sonous.

“It was not only an in­sult of the royal mes­sage, but an in­sult to the King, who all Cam­bo­di­ans re­spect. This is a trea­sonous act by Rainsy, and this is also a trea­sonous act against the Cam­bo­dian peo­ple who have full rights to cast bal­lots. No­body can ban any­one from vot­ing for their law­mak­ers,” he said.

Paul Cham­bers, a pro­fes­sor at Nare­suan Univer­sity in Thai­land, said Rainsy is not a monarch, but com­pared the up­com­ing poll to the one that oc­curred in 1972.

“The bot­tom line is that Sam Rainsy has im­plied that Hun Sen is the same as Lon Nol and that the 2018 elec­tion is be­ing fixed as was the 1972 elec­tion,” he wrote in an email.

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Lao Mong Hay sup­ported parts of the com­par­i­son but claimed Rainsy was try­ing to stir the pot.

“Both men’s claims are le­git­i­mate. How­ever, Sam Rainsy boasts about him­self too much when he com­pares him­self to our King Fa­ther in ex­ile in China. China had lent full sup­port to our King Fa­ther. It is more ap­pro­pri­ate for him to com­pare him­self to Lenin, leader of the Rus­sian rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies, in ex­ile in Switzer­land prior to the over­throw of the Tsar and his tri­umphant re­turn in 1917.

“He should also com­pare him­self to the Ira­nian re­li­gious leader Ay­a­tol­lah Khome­ini who was in ex­ile in France prior to the over­throw of the Shah of Iran and his re­turn . . . in 1979. Both these lead­ers in ex­ile, like Sam Rainsy, had no sup­port from any for­eign power,” he said in a mes­sage.

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