Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday reiterated that he will not help those who go to the opposition for help and suggested that if opposition members have a problem with that, they should take it up with the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
“If villagers get help from the opposition party and the opposition have already done any action…do not come to me,” the prime minister said at a conference at the Royal University of Agriculture in Phnom Penh. He added that the opposition “exaggerates” villagers’ complaints, making it impossible for him to help.
“I cannot solve it. I don’t know how to solve it,” he said.
In response to similar comments made Saturday by the premier, SRP lawmaker Mu Sochua said she sent a letter to the prime minister asking him to “serve people equally and stop threatening people.”
“Sorry, there is no need to answer,” the premier said. “What can you do to me? Want to complain? You can raise the complaint and we can go to the court together. Please, if you want to, make a complaint to the International [Criminal] Court.”
The prime minister went on to question the potential success of such a move and compared the SRP’s filing a complaint at the ICC with the recent decision in The Hague to charge Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir with war crimes and crimes against humanity.
“The warrant from The Hague for arrest of a sitting president. Who would allow them to arrest?” he asked. Regimes—like the Khmer Rouge—need to fall before international courts can act, he added.
Ms Mu Sochua dismissed the prime minister’s remarks.
“[Hun Sen] just makes accusations, threatens people and takes opportunities to deal in political propaganda,” she said by telephone.
“I know the role of the ICC, I know how to file a complaint, but what he said is wrong,” she said. “The ICC won’t take such a case. Does he understand the law?”
According to the Constitution, the prime minister must answer lawmakers’ questions at the National Assembly.
CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said he did not know about the premier’s comments about ignoring the letter from Ms Mu Sochua, but he added that the prime minister does not need to reply only through the National Assembly.
“This is Samdech Hun Sen’s right, which he can apply through written letter or going to the National Assembly,” he said.
(Additional reporting by Phorn Bopha)