Dissident Sam Rainsy said Friday that he has tentatively chosen to work with the Hun Sen-dominated government because it is the best hope for improving the quality of life in Cambodia.
“At sometime we must address the serious situations facing this country,” Sam Rainsy said at a news conference at his home. “How are we going to resolve the food crisis? Ensure the rule of law?”
Sam Rainsy told reporters that he feared for his life and that his freedom “is not far different from house arrest.”
He spent 10 days in protective UN custody after the government announced it was exploring criminal charges against him in connection with Sept 7 grenade explosions inside the compound of a home belonging to Hun Sen, the second prime minister.
Sam Rainsy said he faces a double threat of arrest or assassination. “To arrest me would be a very embarrassing thing for the government, but to get rid of me by killing, they would solve the problem very quickly,” he said.
Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak dismissed the claims. “This is totally ridiculous, and I can only think Sam Rainsy has something wrong with him. I can assure you, we have no intention to even arrest him.”
Sam Rainsy said he has been told that if he cooperates and takes part in negotiations over the next few days, then the warrant will not be delivered.
“If I oppose and do not show any kind of flexibility, then the government will produce…criminal charges against me and then I would be arrested,” he said.
CPP and opposition leaders have agreed to hold a summit in Siem Reap town under the auspices of King Norodom Sihanouk on Tuesday.
He repeated demands that complaints of electoral irregularities and the change in seat-allocation formula be investigated and inquiries be made into disappearances and killings that have followed the government crackdown.
(Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse and The Associated Press)