Cambodia National Rescue Party

Treason trial opens for Cambodia opposition leader

The treason trial of Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha opened Wednesday, more than two years after his arrest in a case decried by his family as a "farce" and widely pilloried as politically motivated.The 66-year-old co-founded the now-banned Cambodia National Rescue Party, once considered the sole viable opponent to the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) led by strongman premier Hun Sen - who has ruled the country with an iron fist for 35 years.Sokha was arrested in 201

16 January 2020

Is pressure growing on Hun Sen?

Cambodia’s self-exiled opposition figurehead Sam Rainsy said Tuesday he had not given up on getting home after an initial bid to return was thwarted, and external pressure on strongman Hun Sen would force him to change course.Rainsy spoke to media in Malaysia after flying in at the weekend from France, where he has lived since 2015, as he sought to fulfil a vow to return home by Independence Day on Saturday.Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia since 1985, had denounced efforts by arch-rival Rainsy

13 November 2019

Kem Sokha freed from house arrest

Cambodia has freed a prominent opposition figure from house arrest more than two years after he was charged with treason, a court spokesperson told media on Sunday, after attempts by his colleagues to return to the country were thwarted.Kem Sokha was arrested in 2017 and accused of plotting to overthrow the government of strongman Hun Sen, who has ruled since 1985.He was sent to a remote prison, then confined to his house and the surrounding block and prohibited from talking to the m

11 November 2019

Cambodian opposition figures blocked from traveling

Exiled Cambodian opposition party leader Sam Rainsy was blocked in Paris on Thursday and his deputy detained in Malaysia as they tried to fly home despite arrest threats from Cambodia’s  leader Hun Sen.Both Rainsy and Mu Sochua had planned to meet up with other opposition supporters to mark Cambodia’s Independence Day on Saturday.“I am extremely shocked because the people need me in Cambodia,” Rainsy, archrival of Prime Minister Hun Sen, told journalists at Charles de Gaulle airport

8 November 2019

Thailand blocks Sam Rainsy’s Cambodia return

Thailand will not allow Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy to transit through the kingdom in a bid to return to Phnom Penh, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Wednesday.Rainsy, who has lived in France since 2015 to avoid jail for convictions he says are politically motivated, has promised a dramatic homecoming on 9 November, Cambodia's Independence Day.But Cambodia's strongman premier Hun Sen has said repeatedly that arrest warrants for his arch-rival have been sent to nei

7 November 2019

The fall and rise of Cambodia’s opposition

Nearly seven decades after Cambodia gained independence from France, its people are still struggling for the right to determine their future. But today, it is not an outside power that is stealing Cambodians’ autonomy, but their own authoritarian government, led by Hun Sen, the world’s longest-serving prime minister.

3 November 2019

Hun Sen fires arrest warning to arch-rival’s fans

Cambodia's premier Hun Sen on Wednesday threatened to arrest supporters of his nemesis Sam Rainsy if they mobilise for the opposition figurehead's much-trumpeted return from self-exile next month. Rainsy, who has lived in France since 2015 to avoid jail for convictions he insists are politically motivated, has promised a dramatic return on 9 November, Cambodia's Independence Day.Seeking to maintain his support base after years outside the country, Rainsy has urged supp

3 October 2019

Hun Sen takes on the EU

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s battle with the European Union (EU) intensified this week after he threatened to act out against the country’s opposition should the EU follow through with its proposed withdrawal of trade benefits. Cambodia is part of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) initiative which aims to increase development in the world’s poorest countries. Under the EBA, Cambodia enjoys duty-free and quota-free exports to countries in the EU.

15 January 2019

Why Cambodia’s opposition failed?

Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen’s authoritarian crackdown has rendered his critics defenceless. His last major blow to the opposition was the dissolution of the main opposition party, the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP).Media outlets, analysts and international observers have been quick to wag their fingers at Hun Sen. Indeed, his actions has understandably dealt a death knell to Cambodia’s democracy.

19 December 2018

Cambodia to ease grip on opposition and media

Cambodia said Monday that banned opposition members may be allowed back into political life and shuttered media outlets could reopen as the European Union (EU) considers pulling a trade deal the country is loath to lose.Numerous activists, journalists and government critics were released from jail in the months after strongman Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party won all parliamentary seats in July elections held without the main opposition party.But the concessions did not deter the

4 December 2018

The dangers of cornering Hun Sen

Soon after November rolled in, reports surfaced of a bet between Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen and Cambodian National Rescue Movement (CNRM) leader Sam Rainsy on the fate of former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) leader Kem Sokha, who is on bail awaiting trial on treason charges.

20 November 2018

Cambodia opposition leader released

Cambodia's opposition leader Kem Sokha was released from jail early Monday a year after he was detained on treason charges, as the country's strongman ruler loosens his grip on opponents after sweeping one-sided elections.Over a 33-year rule, the wily Hun Sen has tightened and relaxed his chokehold on opponents at will, most recently launching a broad crackdown in the run-up to July elections that gifted his ruling party an uncontested victory.As part of that action, Kem Sokha, the

11 September 2018