Rainsy Plans Democracy Plea To Lawmakers in US, Europe

Sam Rainsy is scheduled to leave Bangkok today for a tour of the US and Europe to bring attention to Cambodian democratic re­forms, a Cabinet aide said Wed­nesday.

Additionally, in an interview published Wednesday in the Thai daily The Nation, Sam Rain­sy signaled that the al­l­iance between Fun­cin­pec and the Sam Rain­sy Party had weakened.

The outspoken government critic is slated to testify before the US Sen­ate foreign relations committee in Wash­ington on Fri­­day. He may be ab­road for more than two weeks, according to Ros Sa­karach, secretary of the Cabinet for Sam Rainsy’s self-named party.

The aide said the party leader will cut the trip short if the Nat­ional Assembly is convened. Parlia­mentarian Tioulong Sau­mu­ra, who is married to Sam Rainsy, will accompany him, ac­cording to a press release.

Sam Rainsy will suggest that the US government withhold recognition from any Cambodian government that is not formed under the law, that lacks a mandate from the people, and that is formed without the benefit of political reforms to create the basis for rule of law, the press release said.

He told the Bangkok-based newspaper that he was sorry the “democratic forces” had to be divided, and that Hun Sen had made a clever move in dividing the opposition so he could adopt authoritarian rule.

“I would prefer to see the opposition forces stick together and let the CPP rule alone,’’ Sam Rainsy said. “We can vote for them to be a minority government.’’

He warned Fun­cin­­pec ag­ainst “has­tily” joining the CPP in a coalition gov­ern­ment without getting a major re­form commitments from the CPP leadership.

Sam Rainsy said a hasty coalition would re­sult in an unstable government because the CPP would maintain its dominant influence over key areas such as the military, the police, the National Election Committee, the Con­sti­tutional Council and lo­cal authorities such as village chiefs.

Following his testimony in Washington, Sam Rainsy is to meet UN officials in New York, and then return to Washington. Rainsy has also tentatively scheduled a trip to Paris and other European cities.


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