SRP: Hun Sen’s Pre-Vote Remarks ‘Intimidation’

The SRP on Thursday issued a statement condemning remarks made early this week by Prime Minister Hun Sen that raised the specter of violent instability if the CPP lost July’s national election.

The SRP also said an opposition victory would not lead to violence.

“The SRP regards the prime minister’s comment to be intimidation against voters, and it also creates a negative impact on the social environment, which runs contrary to the prime minister’s obligation to calm the situation before the election,” the SRP wrote.

“The SRP will protect and res­pect voters’ decisions, and once again there is no one who could wage war or cause instability in Cambodia,” it added.

In a speech Tuesday, Hun Sen warned the public of the dangers inherent in changing the country’s leadership. “If the people vote for me, there is no war,” he said.

SRP Deputy Secretary-General Mu Sochua said Thursday that the SRP statement was aimed at getting the prime minister to stop talking of war in his public addresses.

“The people are concerned about war. His comments were disseminated across the country,” she said.

CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said Thursday that the SRP might have misinterpreted Hun Sen’s intent, adding that the premier’s remarks were meant to warn political parties against rejecting the results of the election.

“It is simple; after the election, some political parties always re­fuse to accept the election result,” he said. “Samdech did not intimidate people. If the CPP loses the election, there will be no war, only the supporters [of the CPP] will be sad.”

CPP Defense Minister Tea Banh said the military is beholden to its country and not the ruling party of the day.

“The military serves the government, not any political parties,” he said. When asked whether he would serve under an SRP-led government, Tea Banh replied: “The military would comply with the law and its status.”

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