Second Prime Minister Hun Sen said Saturday that Cambodians don’t deserve the economic difficulties caused by a continuing political stalemate.
In a broadcast aired on state-run TVK, he told reporters in Takhmau that new investors are afraid to come to Cambodia, tax collection is down, and government paychecks are late because of the opposition’s refusal to help form a new government.
“I don’t think Cambodians deserve the bad deeds from difficulties created by politicians,” he said. He reiterated a plan to keep the current government with First Prime Minister Ung Huot if a coalition can’t be formed.
He didn’t directly address the protest led by Funcinpec and Sam Rainsy. But he did so in a letter sent Aug 27 to a foreigner who was pursued by protesters last week after circulating anti-Funcinpec, anti-Muslim leaflets.
“I have pity on you…because you wanted to express your idea which is different from those of the demonstration leaders,” Hun Sen wrote to Paul Gerard, also known as Gerard Be Le. “I want to draw your attention to the fact that democracy is growing in Cambodia…but this democracy is not exactly on the lips of those who proudly say they are democracy-lovers.”
The CPP central committee on Thursday issued a separate statement detailing ways Sam Rainsy has “broken” the law. Alleged unlawful acts include trespassing on Ministry of Interior property, holding an unauthorized rally, cursing government officials and damaging public property.
The statement reiterated allegations that Sam Rainsy planned a grenade attack on his own protesters, and that he had tried to provoke violence by asking the US to launch missiles aimed at Hun Sen’s military base: “This party and this man must take responsibility before the law for the difficulties which have occurred through the immoral acts.”
Sam Rainsy has said the government is trying to frame him in order to stop a protest that is within his constitutional rights.