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High stakes in Hun Sen/Sam Rainsy wager

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times Share:
The Prime Minister speaks to students at the Peace Palace. KT/ Ven Rathavong

Prime Minister Hun Sen has responded to Sam Rainsy’s dare, and accepted the wager concerning the release of Kem Sokha, who is under court supervision.

Sam Rainsy was Leader of the Opposition before going into exile in 2016.  Kem Sokha succeeded him, but was arrested in 2017.  Shortly thereafter the oppositional Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was abrogated.

Mr Rainsy contested the PM on Independence Day (Nov.9) on his Facebook page – “Does Hun Sen dare to bet with me?  … [he said] that we will have to wait for “a horse to grow horns” before he frees Kem Sokha. I still believe that under international pressure, he will be forced to release Mr Sokha in the near future.”

Mr Rainsy wins the bet if Kem Sokha is freed between December 29, 2018 and March 3, 2019.  He asked the Prime Minister step down from his office if this happens.

Mr Rainsy’s wager is, “ … If I lose to Hun Sen, I would like to turn myself in …”  He also guarantees that the conditions of the bet are that simple.

The PM picked up the thrown gauntlet on the same day, and told a news outlet “I bet with Sam Rainsy. If Kem Sokha is released, Hun Sen will resign; but if not, Rainsy shall dare to be arrested.”

Mr Rainsy’s bet seems to be his response to Wednesday’s accusation by the PM that he (Rainsy) was spreading lies, like the one about Kem Sokha’s imminent release, delude former opposition party supporters.

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