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No way back for Rainsy

Mom Sophon / Khmer Times Share:

Former Opposition leader Sam Rainsy is fooling himself if he thinks his “get well” message to the Prime Minister could hasten his return to frontline Cambodian politics, according to political commentator Chan Vibol.
Mr Rainsy, who resigned as CNRP leader three months ago, took to Twitter to wish Hun Sen well after the PM’s sudden admission into a Singapore hospital for tests last week.
“My best wishes for a full and speedy recovery to Prime Minister Mr Hun Sen,” he said.
Hun Sen replied on his Facebook page, “I am thankful for his Excellency Sam Rainsy, who wished me while I was sick. I would also like to take this opportunity to wish happiness to his Excellency (Sam Rainsy), his wife and family.”
This amicable exchange marks an unexpected thawing of the relationship between the two men. Mr Rainsy, who has been living in France, was originally in self-imposed exile but last year the government made the exile official, banning him from returning to the kingdom, where he faces a two-year jail term for defamation against the government.
Mr Vibol, however, said yesterday that the background of  hostility makes a comeback unlikely and questioned Mr Rainsy’s motives.
 “There are political reasons behind Mr Rainsy’s message,” he said. “It could well be linked to an increase in the popularity of the opposition and its improved prospects in upcoming elections.
“The fact is Mr Sam Rainsy is not the CNRP president any more so while his message makes sense it can create misunderstandings.
“For example, it attempts to display a position of power but in fact he has none. Moreover, it is not usual for private people to send a message to the Prime Minister.”
Mr Vibol said he could see little chance of Mr Rainsy being able to negotiate a return to Cambodia and it would be a risk to the CNRP if he did return.
“Although Mr Rainsy has tried to soften his attitudes, it is difficult to conclude that he would be able to return back to the country due to political rivals looking after their own political interests.
“If his political rivals thought they would be affected by his return that would also make it difficult.”
Mr Hun Sen returned home yesterday after four days in hospital for tests after complaining about tiredness.  
He posted a message thanking everyone who wished him well, and said he had come back in good health.

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