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Cambodia Opposition Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary


The logo of opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) is displayed before a rally on the first day of the country's commune election campaign at outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Saturday, May 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party marked its five-year anniversary last week with a meeting of party officials in Hong Kong.

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party marked its five-year anniversary last week with a meeting of party officials in Hong Kong.

The CNRP formed in 2012 when the Sam Rainsy Party merged with the Human Rights Party, led then by the CNRP’s current president, Kem Sokha.

Sam Rainsy, the CNRP’s former president who now lives in self-imposed exile in France after being convicted of defamation, also attended the Hong Kong meeting.

Ruling Cambodian People’s Party spokesman Sok Eysan mocked the CNRP in a message sent via the Telegram messaging app, saying the fifth anniversary meeting was “considered a victory of Mr Kem Sokha.”

Mu Sochua, a senior CNRP lawmaker, said the visit to Hong Kong was intended as a mark of respect to Rainsy ahead of the passing of amendments to the political parties law in Cambodia that will block the party from interacting with its former leader.

“Once the law is adopted, we will obey the law. As lawmakers, a political party, we should be held accountable under the law even if the law is contradictory to the principle of democracy,” she said.

Following the meeting, Rainsy wrote on his Facebook page, calling Prime Minister Hun Sen and other CPP leaders “traitors”, a charged that the CPP has often leveled against him.

However, Eysan said Hun Sen was “praised and respected for his sacrifice for the nation and its citizens”.

The new political parties law amendments were due to be passed on Wednesday and will mean political parties could face dissolution if they are seen to associate with people with criminal records.

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