The ruling CPP is calling for members and functionaries of the CNRP, which has been dissolved, to defect to the CPP, but Sam Rainsy, the self-exiled former leader of the CNRP, urges party officials to flee the country.
A reliable source close to Sam Rainsy spoke with Khmer Times indicating that Mr. Rainsy and his team attempted to coerce CNRP public-servants to escape to Thailand even before the Supreme Court announced that his political party was disbanded. Mr. Rainsy addressed party constituents via social media from Paris.
“I advise not only the top [CNRP] leaders, but also provincial, district and communal office-holders, when I say ‘Please leave the country’ …” He based his statement on the possibility of pressure from the CPP, and concern for the safety of these people. He also called for all CNRP members to stand firm and not defect to CPP.
The source confirmed that some local members have applied for passports while others have crossed illegally into Thailand. “They follow Sam Rainsy’s strategy. He wanted those members to flee to Thailand illegally in order to use this issue for political purposes,” the source said.
Mao Monyvann, the CNRP lawmaker whom Mr. Rainsy has claimed betrayed the party and collaborated with the CPP, noted that the CNRP had five leaders when asked about Mr. Rainsy’s recent call for emigration. “The comments and appeals posted are the personal opinions of Mr. Rainsy and do not reflect the CNRP’s position – which is now questionable anyway. I think that local [lower echelon] members do not have the option to leave the country.”