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PM and Sokha trade blows

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times Share:
Mr Hun Sen said the accords brought peace. Heng Voneath

Prime Minister Hun Sen and opposition leader Kem Sokha have accused one another of breaching the Paris Peace Accords on the 26th anniversary of the historic deal.

Speaking yesterday at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new bridge, Mr Hun Sen said the 1991 pact brought an end to conflict in Cambodia, while the measures in the agreement had been absorbed into the country’s constitution.

He recalled how King Norodom Sihanouk and he signed the accords, which he said achieved peace and development for society.

“We respect the Paris Peace Accords because its elements were merged into the constitution,” he said, adding the Khmer Rouge was dissolved because it did not adhere to the agreement.

“There is a political party which could be dissolved in the upcoming days because they did not respect the Paris Peace Accords. People who betray the Paris Peace Accords have to be sentenced,” he added, referring to the opposition CNRP.

Meanwhile, at the CNRP headquarters, the party marked the anniversary with the reading of a letter from Mr Sokha, who is currently detained in prison on treason charges.

The letter said the government was breaching the Paris Peace Accords with its crackdown on the opposition, calling on the international community and signatories to the accords to take action.

“Please help Cambodia and the Cambodian people who are suffering,” Mr Sokha said, adding that they should not only issue statements, but take practical action.

Human Rights Party president Son Soubert, a former member of the Constitutional Council, said Cambodia was moving backward in terms of its approach to human rights.

He said Mr Sokha had not committed any treasonous acts, and called for intervention from signatory countries to address the political predicament.

However, Mr Hun Sen claimed it would be useless for signatory countries to try and get involved with Cambodian affairs, since the accords had served their purpose and were now out of date.

“You cannot avoid the law. You must be sentenced for your acts. Enforcing the law is better than using armed forces,” Mr Hun Sen said, addressing Mr Sokha.

The Prime Minister added that he would not allow anyone to destroy Cambodia on foreign orders.

“In order to keep the achievements of the Paris Peace Accords, we are committed to enforcing the law to protect the nation and our people,” he said.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the Paris Peace Accords were valid from the day they were signed in 1991 until the government was elected in 1993.

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