Hun Sen threat­ens poll pro­test­ers with ‘war’

New Straits Times - - World -

PHNOM PENH: Premier Hun Sen warned yes­ter­day that he would not hes­i­tate to quash protests with mil­i­tary might if they turn vi­o­lent, rais­ing ten­sions as the coun­try braces for elec­tions.

Hun Sen is pre­par­ing for lo­cal polls next month and a 2018 na­tional elec­tion af­ter clamp­ing down on op­po­si­tion fig­ures.

The warn­ing was a ref­er­ence to op­po­si­tion protests that broke out dur­ing the last elec­tion in 2013, when a crowd de­stroyed at least two po­lice cars over al­le­ga­tions of voter fraud.

Dressed in a mil­i­tary uni­form, Hun Sen told a gath­er­ing of former sol­diers such protests would not be tol­er­ated this time.

“Re­mem­ber, in the 2017 and 2018 (elec­tions), if your group does such ac­tiv­i­ties again, armed forces will crack down on them im­me­di­ately. If war hap­pens, let it be,” he said.

“I still in­sist that war will hap­pen if the (rul­ing) Cam­bo­dian Peo­ple’s Party isn’t in power,” he added. AFP

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