Does Cambodia have a ‘puppet king’?

It might behoove opposition figure Sam Rainsy to be thankful Cambodia's monarch doesn't interfere in politics.

Like the coward who tries impressing the bully by arriving late to a fight to deliver several kicks to an already grounded victim, many of Cambodia’s minor political parties have now laid into exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy for his comments made last month about Cambodia’s “puppet king.”

Cambodian Youth Party president Pich Sros called Sam Rainsy’s comments “deranged.” The royalist FUNCINPEC, naturally, intoned that “serious insult and has seriously damaged the reputation of the King of the Kingdom of Cambodia who is highly respected by the people.”

Most of these naturally came only after the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), in power since 1979 and which holds every seat in the National Assembly, had already strongly rebuked Sam Rainsy for his comments and in late December charged him with lèse-majesté, again. In September 2019, he was sentenced in absentia to an eight-year prison stretch for insulting the king, adding to his numerous other politically charged convictions.

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