Sam Rainsy Says Voters Intimidated

One million Cambodians have been disenfranchised from the election process, and, in 120 communes, Sam Rainsy supporters have faced intimidation as they register as candidates, opposition party leader Sam Rainsy said Wednesday.

Speaking at a news conference called to discuss the case of Sok Yoeun—the Cambo­dian in Thai custody who is the government’s suspect in a failed assaniation attempt against Prime Minister Hun Sen—Sam Rainsy called for political change in Cambodia, claiming there have been “22 years of the same people in government and the same hardships, and the [Cambodian] people resent the local commune heads.” Cambodians head to the polls in February for the country’s first-ever local elections. Also Wednesday, Sam Rainsy continued to argue that Sok Yoeun is an innocent man who is being framed in order to discredit Sam Rainsy as a “terrorist leader.” Sam Rainsy repeated claims that “the Thais want to appease Hun Sen because they have economic ties with Hun Sen. This is not a reason to put a man in jail who is in poor health.”

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