Sam Rainsy plans return to Cambodia

Sam Rainsy plans return to Cambodia

Exiled opposition leader faces arrest if he returns in November as planned, police spokesman warns

Sam Rainsy, who is living in exile, is photographed on his terrace in Paris in July 2018. (Reuters Photo)
Sam Rainsy, who is living in exile, is photographed on his terrace in Paris in July 2018. (Reuters Photo)

PHNOM PENH: Cambodia’s most prominent opposition politician, Sam Rainsy, says he plans to return home on Nov 9 from self-imposed exile, along with other leaders of his party, according to a statement released Friday.

Immediately after the Cambodia National Rescue Party released the statement, national police spokesman Chhay Kimkhoeun said Sam Rainsy would be arrested soon after his arrival as he faces a number of criminal charges and convictions.police spoon

Nov 9 marks the 66th anniversary of Cambodia’s independence from France.

Sam Rainsy left Cambodia in late 2015 to avoid what he called politically motivated convictions for defamation and other charges and has continued political activities abroad.

It is not the first time he has announced plans to return home. In June, he said he would return by September, but he has since walked that plan back.

The CNRP, which was the only major opposition party in the country, was forcibly dissolved by a court order in November 2017, ahead of the general election in July 2018 that allowed the ruling Cambodian People’s Party of Prime Minister Hun Sen to win all 125 seats in the National Assembly.

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