Sam Rainsy charged the government Tuesday with corruption and carrying out a mission to devastate the country through war and deforestation.
“The government leaders are always smart in waging people to fight against each other, smart in splitting rival parties such as Funcinpec, BLDP and KNP,” Rainsy said. “The more Khmer kill Khmer, the happier they are.”
Rainsy’s comments came at the congress of his new Sam Rainsy Party. About 1,000 people participated in the congress, which formally approved the change of the party’s name from the Khmer Nation Party.
Last month, the Interior Ministry ordered Rainsy and rival faction leader Kong Mony to change their party names. Rainsy has called the order a “blessing in disguise,” because he says it can help him build name recognition as he campaigns for the scheduled July 26 elections.
On Tuesday, Rainsy also displayed the party’s new logo—a lighted candle, or symbol of hope.
Rainsy targeted most of Cambodia’s institutions in his critical comments at the congress. He charged the government and its courts with corruption, which he claimed is an underlying cause for the serious poverty in the country.
“The court of this government is a blind-eye court,” he said. “It has never ruled in favor of anybody’s case without bribes first.”
Likewise, Rainsy said he doesn’t believe the National Election Committee will be able to be impartial in the upcoming election. “Composition of the committee was dreadfully selected,” he said.
Deforestation, he said, is causing an increase in the number of floods and droughts. Farmers are facing serious food shortages because of their inability to cultivate crops, Rainsy claimed.
He also criticized the government for the treatment of people injured and maimed from the continued fighting in the north since July.
“In the hospital, where I was visiting, there are many wounded soldiers staying without medical treatment, staying without medicine,” Rainsy said. “No one pays attention to those pitiful people at all.”
Despite launching his eponymic party Tuesday, Rainsy has said that he plans to revert back to the KNP name after the July polls.