The Cambodia National Rescue Foundation (CNRF), the U.S.-based overseas funding arm of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), will stage a rally Friday morning in front of the White House calling on U.S. President Barack Obama to pressure the ruling CPP to ensure a free and fair election on July 28 and allow their party’s president, Sam Rainsy, to return unmolested.
CNRF founder Vibol Touch said that 1,000 people were expected to join the rally.
“We petition President Obama to send a strong and firm message to the government of Cambodia to respect…the rule of law and to run a free and fair election. More importantly, we ask for the return of Sam Rainy and his safety,” he said.
Mr. Rainsy announced Saturday that he would return to Cambodia from France before the election, despite facing an 11-year prison sentence on charges widely seen as politically motivated.
On Tuesday, CNRP election candidate Mu Sochua confirmed that the White House rally was timed to coincide with his imminent return to Cambodia.
“For sure, [the rally] is about the return of Mr. Rainsy and about ensuring a free and fair election,” she said.
Mr. Rainsy said in an email Tuesday that he would publish the date of his return “soon.”