A CPP official yesterday dismissed comments made by former opposition leader Sam Rainsy on Facebook urging the public to refrain from voting in the upcoming national election while citing the King as an example.
In a post on his Facebook page dated Sunday, Mr Rainsy wrote: “Even though the King is being held hostage by Hun Sen, he has let us know that he would not vote on July 29. Let’s follow his good example with regard to this fake election!”
Mr Rainsy added that voters have the right to abstain from voting if the election was “fake”.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said yesterday that the King remains neutral during every election. Mr Eysan noted that the King has never voted since the election in 1993.
He said that what Mr Rainsy said on his social media page is a form of deception intended to mislead the public.
“Mr Rainsy is now running out of tricks as the election is coming,” Mr Eysan said. “Using the name of the King to deceive voters is clear disrespect against the King.”
Last week, Mr Rainsy defied a court summons to show up to face a judge in Phnom Penh regarding an election letter issued by King Norodom Sihamoni last month.
He told his lawyer to ignore the summons and instead focus on Mr Rainsy’s other court cases.
In the election letter, the King urged citizens to partake in the upcoming election, but Mr Rainsy took it upon himself to say on his Facebook page that the letter by the King was written under duress or was fake.
Following Mr Rainsy’s comments, the Ministry of the Royal Palace issued a statement informing the public that the letter was neither forged, nor was it written under duress.
Mr Rainsy dismissed the statement.
“We must not believe those sold-out courtesans in the Royal Palace who are telling us lies,” he said.
Mr Rainsy is also currently facing three other court cases, including demoralisation of the army, inciting military personnel to disobey orders, and treason charges.
The treason charges came after video leaked of Mr Rainsy allegedly agreeing to cede four north-eastern provinces to Vietnam’s Montagnards if he won the 2013 election.
A Phnom Penh Municipal Court summons for Mr Rainsy to appear for questioning over the treason charges next month was yesterday stapled to the ex-CNRP headquarters in Chak Angre Loeu commune.
Sam Sokong, a lawyer who has defended Mr Rainsy in court before, said yesterday that his client, who lives in exile, has also chosen to ignore the treason charges.