Lawmaker Appeals for King’s Return

Opposition parliamentarian Son Chhay appealed on Friday for King Norodom Sihanouk to return to Cambodia, claiming the monarch’s presence would comfort citizens who were increasingly worried by the ongoing political deadlock.

In a letter sent to King Siha­nouk on Friday, Son Chhay wrote that he “felt hopeless for the fate of the nation” as the “leaders who are in charge are not thinking responsibly about current national issues.”

Cambodian people will also “feel safe and warm” if the King returns, Son Chhay wrote.

King Sihanouk announced on Wednesday that he would not re­turn to Cambodia until the political deadlock, heading toward its ninth month without resolution, was settled.

The 81-year-old King departed Phnom Penh in January for China to receive medical treatment for a list of health complaints. He was originally due to return in time for next week’s Khmer New Year celebrations, but the King reiterated in his letter last week that he would be traveling to North Korea and then returning to Beijing.

The King added his reason for delaying his return was to avoid “politicians who accuse” him of pressuring them to accept a political solution they do not want to accept.

“I, as well as all his children, would like to plead with the King to return home. And I am convinced that no politician would dare accuse him or make him angry,” Son Chhay said at his office in the National Assembly building.

“Even the donors also believe that the King’s presence in the country helps the country more than when he is abroad,” he said.

Funcinpec spokesman Kassie Neou said Friday that the royalist party could not comment on the appeal for the King’s return.

Funcinpec traditionally does not comment on the King, he said.


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