A former CNRP lawmaker returned to Cambodia yesterday after visiting his family and political supporters abroad.
Ou Chanrath said he would be advocating to get his political rights back, following a ban imposed on 118 CNRP lawmakers from politics for five years after the opposition party was dissolved in November.
“I went to the United States to visit my family and meet with supporters who backed the CNRP,” Mr Chanrath said.
He filed an appeal on December 8 to reverse the Supreme Court ruling, which he said strongly affected commune councillors elected in the 2017 ballot.
“I will continue to demand my political rights back, because the Supreme Court decision was unfair to commune councillors and some senior members,” he said. “I ask the highest court to retry the case for the dissolution of the opposition party, as it was a one-sided decision by the ruling CPP.”
When asked if he was afraid of reprisals from the ruling CPP, Mr Chanrath said that nothing can ever be achieved if one is ruled by fear.
Mr Chanrath said he did not know whether other lawmakers who fled the country would return, noting it was an individual choice to be made in each case.
Since he lost his position as a lawmaker, Mr Chanrath will now work as a rice paddy farmer, he said.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan dismissed the idea of a reversal of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“This man just wanted the public’s interest, but there is no reversing a ruling from the highest court regarding a party that broke the law,” Mr Eysan said. “The opposition party has definitely not survived.”