Former CNRP officials “likely” to seek political detoxification ahead of elections

Former opposition figure Kong Korm predicted that a third of the 118 politicians banned from the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) dissolved by the Supreme Court would seek political rehabilitation ahead of the next municipal and national elections in 2022 and 2023 , respectively.

Korm – former acting chairman of the late Sam Rainsy party and currently honorary chairman of the Khmer Will party – made the prediction after former CNRP leader Sam Rainsy called on Cambodians to consider forming a government of national union like Myanmar and for Prime Minister Hun Sen must return power to the people.

Korm estimated that politicians, who were excluded from politics for five years after the disbandment, will distance themselves from the movement, which he said was proposed by an “outlaw group abroad” .

Self-exiled Rainsy made the roll call on July 17.

But his plan for a unity government has been called “impossible” by independent analysts and civil society groups because of the differences between Cambodia and Myanmar.

Korm told The Post on August 3 that some former CNRP members continued to call for political rehabilitation while those who were reinstated have since formed new parties.

Korm added that politicians who returned to politics confirmed his belief in the inability of the CNRP to reappear as a political force, especially since the party’s two main leaders – Rainsy and Kem Sokha – could not s ‘engage in politics.

Another reason, he explained, is that the former CNRP members have decided to move on and do not want to be involved in political activities abroad, especially the government of national unity proposed by Rainsy, which could lead to further difficulties.

“I predict and have also heard rumors that former CNRP members might join the CPP or form a new party,” Korm said.

Chheum Kan, deputy director general of the General Administration Department of the Interior Ministry, said 24 former CNRP members were allowed to return to politics while two were rejected.

However, Kan did not indicate whether more former CNRP members would seek political pardon, only saying they would be considered upon request.

On August 1, the prime minister refused to grant political rights to prominent former CNRP members Choung Chou Ngy and Nhim Kim Nhol because they had committed additional offenses in violation of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“I have the right to decide whether or not to give political rights to someone through the Ministry of the Interior. But the Home Secretary’s report to me attached the wrongdoing of the person after the court revoked his rights. If they haven’t done anything wrong, we will allow them to recover their rights, ”said Hun Sen.

Hun Sen said that if he refused to sign the request, it would not be forwarded to the king.

The CNRP was dissolved by the Supreme Court in November 2017 and 118 senior party officials were banned from participating in politics for five years.

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