Sam Rainsy Heads to Europe to Seek Support

Opposition party leader Sam Rainsy left Cambodia Friday for France, where he hopes to drum up support for a free, fair and violence-free election process in the lead-up to the national elections scheduled for July 27, party officials said Sunday.

“Sam Rainsy will meet with the European Union to [appeal for support] in promoting a national election without any kind of violence and for a free and fair election process,” said Sam Rainsy Party Secretary-General Eng Chhay Eang.

Sam Rainsy’ also will stop in Ger­many and Belgium, where he will tell friends and supporters of the state of Cambodia’s political affairs, Eng Chhay Eang said.

“He will tell EU officials and friends in France, Germany and Belgium [in clear terms] about the real situation and what the government has done and tell the [EU] officials not to believe what the government has said,” Eng Chhay Eang said.

Sam Rainsy will return to Phnom Penh on Thursday and will travel to Thailand Friday for the three-day Williamsburg Con­ference in Bangkok, said Sam Rainsy Party Cabinet Chief Phi Thach. The conference is an intellectual, nongovernmental gathering of US citizens and Asians to discuss issues related to US-Asia policies and relations.

However, “I do not know if the Thais will welcome Sam Rainsy and his wife to join the conference,” Phi Thach said. In the wake of the anti-Thai riots of Jan 29 Thailand has barred the entry of Cambodian citizens. On Feb 1, Sam Rainsy was turned away at the airport in Bangkok.



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