Prime Minister Hun Sen has threatened to close the doors for remaining former opposition party members who have not yet made request to have their politics ban lifted before or after the Khmer New Year in April.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for constructions of flood protection and drainage improvement project in Phnom Penh on Monday, Mr Hun Sen urges former senior CNRP members who wished to have their political rights restored to make their requests as soon as possible.
“The doors have opened. Whether you come in or not, it’s up to you. I wish to inform you that the doors will be closed if you ignore it or keep making more demands,” he said. “If you wish to wait a bit longer, please wait until November 2022.”
“You will not get another chance. You must wait until November 2022, when the Supreme Court’s verdict becomes invalid,” he said. “You will not be able to compete in May 2022 commune election.”
118 CNRP politicians, including former party president Kem Sokha, are banned from politics for five years by the Supreme Court in November 2017 when it dissolved the party.
However, after the amendment on Political Parties Law in January, three former opposition party members, including former party adviser Kong Korm had their political rights restored.
Mr Hun Sen added that he will not make a request to have some former CNRP members released from jail or to have their charges dropped.
“If some of you are now involved in politics, I will order police to handcuff you,” he said. “Do not wish for a political negotiation to interfere in the court cases. The judge must convict offenders when the investigations of their cases are concluded.”
Mr Hun Sen also said that some former CNRP members are reluctant as they are waiting for a political solution and demand for Mr Sokha’s release.