Exiled Cambodian opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Wednesday raised the prospect of violence if this year’s general election is not postponed, prompting a government accusation of a threat to the state. Cambodian politics has been in turmoil since the dissolution of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) last year, following the arrest of its leader, Kem Sokha, on treason charges he says were politically motivated. Sam Rainsy, a former CNRP leader now living in exile in France, called for a postponement of the July election, at which Prime Minister Hun Sen is now expected to easily extend his 33 years in power.
The vote should only be held once it can “meet minimum international standards”, Sam Rainsy wrote in a social media tweet.
“This would avoid both violence and Cambodia becoming a pariah state,” he added.
Western countries have condemned the dissolution of the opposition party and said the election cannot be credible, but there has been little open public reaction to the decision, with many CNRP supporters saying they are afraid to protest.
Full Article: Cambodian Exile Says Postpone Election to Avoid Violence.