Hun Sen slams Sam Rainsy over ‘step down’ comments

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Prime Minister Hun Sen delivers a speech yesterday. KT/Khem Sovannara

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday reiterated that it would be impossible to oust him from office because people enjoy life under his leadership.

Two weeks ago, former opposition leader Sam Rainsy told his supporters in South Korea that migrant workers should return with him in order to “liberate democracy” in the Kingdom.

“He [Mr Hun Sen] is the traitor. He is not serving the nation’s interest, and he serves the foreigner country’s interest and mistreats Cambodian people.” Mr Rainsy said. “He must step down. If not, we will gather to arrest him and bring him to be prosecuted. We are committed to grab our country back and give it back to Cambodian people.”

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Speaking to thousands of garment workers during an International Labour Day celebration in Kandal province yesterday, Mr Hun Sen said it is “impossible” to detain him.

“In the last few weeks, some politician has appealed to garment workers to arrest me,” he said. “Are they coming to arrest me today?”

“They come to kiss me, they come to hold me and take selfies with me,” Mr Hun Sen added. “So the current situation reflects the close relationship between workers and the country’s leader. We have solidarity.”

Mr Hun Sen then thanked garment factory employers for establishing 1,287 production centres across the Kingdom.

Last week, Mr Hun Sen responded to Mr Rainsy’s call for an internal CPP coup to oust him as party president.

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Last week’s statement was also made as a response to a statement Mr Rainsy made calling on Cambodians to draw inspiration from Algerians who forced their leader to step down.

Mr Rainsy also called on Mr Hun Sen’s close ally Interior Minister Sar Kheng to stage a coup sanctioned by CNRP activists.

“He told Samdech Sar Kheng to push me out of power, please don’t respond to the stupid man’s request,” Mr Hun Sen said last week. “If a deputy prime minister topples a prime minister, it is a coup. Why would you tell him to do that? Take over for who? For you? Do you think Samdech Sar Kheng is ignorant?”

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan yesterday said former opposition leaders have no intention of giving up their goal to topple the legitimate government.

“It is their habit to call people to overthrow us, but why did you flee the country?” Mr Eysan said referring to Mr Rainsy’s exile in France. “They are using the culture of smearing and are attempting to split the nation.”

“They have been attempting to topple since 1993,” he added. “But they always fail.”

Mr Eysan said people of the Kingdom, especially civil servants, should not listen to Mr Rainsy’s appeal, adding that people should enjoy peace under the leadership of Mr Hun Sen.

“They tried to split the CPP through a call for an uprising, a call for the army to turn their guns on the government, and a call for a coup for the arrest of Samdech Techo,” he said. “What they said is not a reflection on the reality in the Kingdom. Instead, it will make the armed forces, citizens, and workers to be angry at them.”

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