The government yesterday responded to comments made by exiled former opposition leader Sam Rainsy.
In a Facebook post on May 10, Mr Rainsy called for a change of government.
“Cambodian people must topple Hun Sen’s regime because this regime is illegal and was created from a fake election in 2018,” he said. “The election that had no participation from the CNRP – which represents half of the people in the Kingdom – was a fake election and undermined the principle of democracy.”
In a Radio Free Asia interview on Saturday, Mr Rainsy said he will return to the Kingdom once the people of Cambodia have risen against Mr Hun Sen’s government.
“In order to solve these problems, the only way is to depose Hun Sen,” Mr Rainsy said. “This is the favourable time when I will return.”
“When the workers rise up, when people who have lost their land rise up, when the people who are in debt rise up, when the jobless students rise up, when the [armed forces] who get low salaries, but are exploited by their commanders rise up,” he added.
In a statement yesterday, the Government Spokespersons Unit called Mr Rainsy’s comments incitement to commit violence.
“The comment raised by the convict rebel […] is something the Royal Government cannot accept,” it said. “The Royal Government was created from an election that had an 83 percent voter turnout. This was a reflection of the will of the people who wanted peace, stability and development.”
“The Royal Government Spokesperson Unit understands that Sam Rainsy is inciting people. This shows his political weakness,” it added. “They want to use the blood and lives of the people as a pretext for his return to the country.”
It said that Mr Rainsy is aiming to call on the armed forces and the people to overthrow the government.
“The authorities must be prepared to prevent this act of rebellion that attempts to destroy the happiness and development of the nation and its people,” it said.
It added that Mr Rainsy is using people to serve his “political ambition”.
“The Royal Government strongly commits to protecting the choices and decisions of the Cambodian people in order to maintain peace, stability and development,” it said.
Mr Rainsy, who is currently in exile, has been vowing to return in order to restore democracy and human rights in the country.
In a letter published earlier this month, Mr Hun Sen called on CPP officials to prevent a colour revolution and take action against Mr Rainsy should he return.
“He appealed to the armed forces and the people to topple the legitimate Royal Government that was created from a free and fair election that heeded to the principles of a multi-party liberal democracy,” Mr Hun Sen said.