Cambodian opposition names acting chief after leader resigns

Feb 13, 2017, 00:54
Cambodian opposition names acting chief after leader resigns

Political analysts foresaw that the party's two prominent candidates - Kem Sokha and Sam Rainsy's wife Tioulong Saumura - could compete for the position of the party's new president.

The action came a day after Sam Rainsy, who has been in self-imposed exile since late 2015, resigned his membership in the Cambodia National Rescue Party in response to plans by the government to change election laws so that political parties could be dissolved if their leaders have criminal convictions. Rainsy's resignation is likely to further unsettle the opposition's integrity.

"Whatever my position in the party, I remain the symbol and embody the spirit of resistance to the autocratic and corrupt Hun Sen regime, and this is what matters in the minds of the Khmer people", he said.

Mr. Rainsy has been living in self-exile in Paris and has been sued by many members of the ruling party for defamation. But his CNRP and the ruling Cambodian People's Party, under Prime Minister Hun Sen, became deadlocked on a number of issues despite assertions that both would engage in a "culture of dialogue", and tensions have been mounting ahead of this year's local commune elections and next year's national elections.

Rainsy's resignation announcement comes shortly after Hun Sen, who has loomed over Cambodian politics for 32 years, proposed amending a political party law to bar convicts from serving as party leaders - a clear threat to Rainsy and the CNRP.

Marathon to Charge $87000 for Duchenne Drug That Costs $1600 Overseas
This voucher can be used to get a drug reviewed faster; it can also be sold to other company for hundreds of millions of dollars. Some studies have shown that patients on deflazacort tend to lose the ability to walk later that the ones who are not treated.

Mr Rainsy has faced several lawsuits from the government and is now overseas to avoid a two-year prison sentence for defamation.

Hun Sen, during a graduation ceremony earlier this month, called the current law on political parties "loose".

Cambodia's courts are seen to be under the influence of Mr Hun Sen and his party. Executive members of Cambodia's beleaguered opposition party have accepted the resignation of Sam Rainsy, its charismatic leader, and named his deputy, Kem Sokha, acting chief until a party congress can be held.

Mr Sam Rainsy claimed fraud and vote-rigging robbed the opposition of victory at elections in 2013, shaking the CPP which lost 29 seats in the 123-seat parliament.

The Cambodian analyst said as opposition leader Mr Sam Rainsy was "ineffective, strident, provocative and used racism repeatedly to stir up the pot unnecessarily".