Prime Minister Hun Sen has warned Sam Rainsy that he could be arrested by the Royal Cambodian Army should the exiled former opposition leader return to the Kingdom.
Currently, Mr Rainsy has a slew of charges against him filed by Mr Hun Sen, National Assembly President Heng Samrin, and other government officials, including for defamation, incitement and treason.
Addressing RCA members during its anniversary parade yesterday, Mr Hun Sen said a court has already issued a warrant for Mr Rainsy’s arrest.
“When there is an arrest warrant from the court, please arrest him. There is no need to wait for a command from me,” he said. “No need to ask me, just enforce the court’s decision and the law. I’ve said it many times – just follow the law.”
Mr Hun Sen urged the RCA to take action against anyone who plans to destroy the government and start a war.
“We must immediately eliminate the terrorist group that attempted to take over power, contrary to the constitution,” he said. “The establishment of the RCA and allied forces is aimed at protecting the state.”
Mr Hun Sen’s comments came after pro-Rainsy supporters issued a five-point return strategy earlier this week during the opening of a two-week conference in the United States.
Eng Chhay Eang, who was named CNRP vice president, said the strategy includes how to welcome Mr Rainsy back in Cambodia, securing a budget for the return, expanding political relations, increasing anti-government information and aiming to make positive changes this year.
“Domestic and international supporters agreed to do these five things,” Mr Chhay Eang said. “First, we’ll create a working group to welcome Mr Rainsy home and then we will expand our overseas ties.”
“We make decisions together so we can express our stance on Mr Hun Sen’s holding of CNRP as his political hostage with the EU,” he added. “The CNRP supports the measures taken by the EU to encourage the restoration of democracy in Cambodia.”
Political analyst Sok Sakoun yesterday said he was not convinced Mr Rainsy would ever return, noting that supporters would not risk going against authorities.
“What about his supporters? If they show up and the situation gets out of control, who would be held responsible?” he said. “If you read his political background then you’ll see that Rainsy is a heartless hero; curse me if I said the wrong thing.”