Lieutenant General Hun Manet, deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, yesterday said that Prime Minister Hun Sen has not allowed Cambodia to return to an era of war, noting that his leadership has the confidence of the armed forces.
Lt Gen Manet made the comments while speaking on behalf of the premier yesterday at the inauguration of a primary school in Banteay Meanchey province’s Preah Netr Preah district.
“[Mr Hun Sen] has not allowed anyone to return the country to war again,” said Lt Gen Manet. “Although opposition politicians strive to inspire people to join the war against the legitimate government, they did not succeed because the people see and understand the government’s value of peace.”
The Supreme Court dissolved the former opposition CNRP in November and jailed former party president Kem Sokha on treason charges for allegedly conspiring with the US to topple the government through a colour revolution. The court also banned 118 senior members from politics for five years.
The party’s former leader Sam Rainsy remains in exile after being hit by a slew of court cases.
In the wake of the dissolution, Mr Rainsy created the Cambodia National Rescue Movement with the intention of helping the CNRP join the upcoming election and uniting opposition figures.
Mr Hun Sen has labelled the CNRM a terrorist organisation.
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said that Cambodia is a multi-party democracy with anyone being able to lead the country if voted in by the people.
“I think that next time, when the people vote for someone to lead the country, that leader has an obligation to maintain peace and social security for everyone,” he said.