Former CNRP senior advisor Kong Korm on Sunday lashed out at the dissolved party’s former leader Sam Rainsy, accusing him of trying to destroy democracy in Cambodia and violating the Paris Peace Accords.
Mr Korm, honorary president of the Khmer Will Party, said during its first anniversary celebrations that Mr Rainsy and his supporters went against the Cambodian constitution and Paris Accords by calling for a boycott of last year’s national election.
He noted that both the constitution and Paris Peace Accords require elections to be held once every five years.
“We followed this requirement by not heeding their call to boycott the elections,” Mr Korm said. “We have to honour the Paris Peace Accords by registering and voting in elections every five years.”
“The Khmer Will Party will not betray the constitution and was proud to participate in last year’s national elections,” he added.
Mr Korm said that Mr Rainsy and his supporters’ boycott call went against the principle that elections are the best way to ensure democracy, peace and respect for human rights.
“This is the first time I am giving a public speech after receiving a pardon which restored my right to take part in politics,” he added.
In 2017, the Supreme Court dissolved the CNRP after its then-president Kem Sokha was accused of trying to overthrow the government through a colour revolution.
The court also banned 118 party members, including Mr Korm, from taking part in politics.
In January, the National Assembly amended the Law on Political Parties to pave the way for banned politicians to return to politics.
In order to return, former opposition members are required to file a request for a pardon to Prime Minister Hun Sen or Interior Minister Sar Kheng.
The move was heavily criticised by Mr Rainsy who said that anyone who filed for a request would be branded as a traitor to the CNRP.
Mr Korm also noted that Mr Rainsy and other exiled former CNRP members last month held a candlelight demonstration in South Korea calling for the liberation of Cambodia and a boycott of the upcoming sub-national elections.
Following the demonstration, former CNRP member Prince Sisowath Thomico criticised the action of Mr Rainsy and his supporters and said that calls to overthrow the current government could be considered a colour revolution.