Cambodia Opposition Return Hits New Thailand Roadblock

Plans by self-exiled leaders took a hit this week with an announcement by Thailand’s premier.

Plans by self-exiled leaders of Cambodia’s banned opposition party to return to their homeland hit a major roadblock Wednesday when Thailand’s prime minister said their top leader would not be allowed in to make his way through the country to the Cambodian border.

Leaders of the Cambodia National Rescue Party have vowed to return home on Saturday despite efforts by their government to thwart them. They are led by party co-founder Sam Rainsy, who has been in exile since 2015 to avoid serving a prison term on charges that he says are politically motivated.

The opposition politicians said they hoped to return accompanied by a mass of followers, including from the huge community of Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand. They say they seek to spark a popular movement to oust long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen, an autocratic leader who has clamped down on his opponents and demolished democracy.

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