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Cambodia : Rainsy faces defamation charge for post about PM's ‘likes’

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  • Cambodia : Rainsy faces defamation charge for post about PM's ‘likes’

    Niem Chheng and Shaun Turton
    Fri, 11 March 2016

    Opposition leader Sam Rainsy last year speaks at a forum in France, where he is living in self-imposed exile to avoid pending defamation cases in Cambodia.

    Photo suppliedstory in the Postdefamation case brought by Foreign Minister Hor Namhong. National Assembly President Heng Samrin has also initiated a separate defamation suit

  • #2

    Lay Samean
    Fri, 18 March 2016

    Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at Koh Pich yesterday.
    FacebookPost revealedaccused total number of likes from India and the Philippines now exceeds half a million.


    • #3
      Cambodia's exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy resigns
      Lindsay Murdoch
      February 12 2017

      Bangkok: Cambodia's opposition leader has resigned to save his party from forced dissolution after threats from the country's strongman Hun Sen.

      Sam Rainsy, a popular figure who has been living in Paris, said the surprise decision was "for the sake" of his Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), which faces crucial commune elections in June.

      Cambodia's opposition leader Sam Rainsy, pictured in Phnom Penh in 2013.
      Photo: AP

      "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," Mr Sam Rainsy said on his Facebook page, adding the resignation will have little impact on Cambodia's politics.

      "In all the circumstances I continue to cherish and to uphold the CNRP's ideals in my heart," he said.

      The resignation will be widely seen as a victory for Mr Hun Sen who has ruthlessly crushed political opponents during three decades of repressive rule.

      But a veteran Cambodian analyst said the move will force Mr Hun Sen to back away from outlawing Mr Sam Rainsy's entire party, meaning it can still run at the elections.

      Sources in Mr Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party (CPP) predict the opposition party could win 30 percent of commune seats, up from less than five percent at the last election, which would be a huge blow to the ruling party.

      "Sam Rainsy can come back later," the analyst said.

      A younger Sam Rainsy leads an anti-government rally in 1998.
      Photo: Reuters

      Mr Hun Sen earlier this month vowed to amend laws on political parties to keep convicts from holding leadership positions, among other rules.

      In his resignation letter, Sam Rainsy accused the CPP of trying to dissolve his own party and to "institutionalise a one party system."

      Prime Minister of Cambodia Samdech Techo Hun Sen.
      Photo: AP

      Mr Sam Rainsy has been living in exile since late 2015 to avoid a deferred two-year prison sentence for criminal defamation.

      He has been the target of several lawsuits by Mr Hun Sen and the CPP, mostly related to his criticisms of the ruling party on his Facebook page.

      Last Thursday, a court uphold a lower court ruling that found Mr Sam Rainsy guilty of another defamation case over claims that people close to Mr Hun Sen bought "likes" for his Facebook page.

      Cambodia's courts are seen to be under the influence of Mr Hun Sen and his party.

      The opposition's deputy chief Kem Sokha, who has faced similar attacks, is now set to lead the party into the elections.

      In recent months he has exchanged conciliatory words and gestures with Mr Hun Sen, who since taking office in 1985 has often used a carrot-and-stick approach to divide his political opponents.

      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.

      Under Mr Hun Sen's iron-fist rule Cambodia emerged from civil war and genocide but his standing has been eroded by land grabs, corruption and high unemployment among youths.

      Mr Sam Rainsy appealed to many younger voters. A third of the country's 9.5 million voters are less than 30 years old.

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

      "If he'd taken the higher more ethical road he would have had more support internationally," he said.


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            • #7
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