Prime Minister Hun Sen said the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will not hold political negotiations with opponents who have committed illegal acts.
The announcement came during a recent visit to Banteay Meanchey’s Malai district on Saturday after he distributed food to flood-affected victims.
“Some say there will be a political solution, but I will not need a political solution because they need to seek a solution with the courts. There doesn’t need to be any political negotiation,” he said.
“I would like to announce to compatriots that I do not need to negotiate with anyone at all. Those who commit illegal acts must be dealt with by the courts only. Those who have been convicted by the court must go to jail. After serving your prison term, you can talk,” he said.
When politicians are freed from prison, it is their right to create a new political party if they want to, he added.
The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was dissolved by the Supreme Court in November 2017 after its leader Kem Sokha was arrested over treason charges for allegedly colluding with foreign states to overthrow the government through a colour revolution.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court last year also charged former court-dissolved CNRP leader Sam Rainsy and eight others with attempting to overthrow the government.
Former CNRP lawmaker Ou Chanrath told Khmer Times yesterday that although the opposition party was dissolved by law, the spirit of the party and the demand has not disappeared.
Negotiation is a necessary matter for political solution or compromise despite there not being a political party, he said.
“Negotiation is not only for a party to carry out. Sometimes, it can be held with a group of demonstrators or with a political movement. Negotiation is needed if we are to reach a solution,” he said.
Chanrath said a solution could also be obtained through legal procedure, or other means, such as people coming together to form a new political party.
“If the former opposition group does not think about how to find a solution and still boycotts politics, it could prevent our country and democracy from moving forward,” he said.
Political analyst Hang Vitou said yesterday that there will be no political deadlock if politicians are willing to find a solution.
“In the Kingdom, political willingness bypasses the law,” he said.
“The politicians are the people who create the law. Negotiations can only be made if they open the door for negotiations, not close it,” he said.