Prime Minister Hun Sen has condemned an article in a local newspaper which quoted him as saying that it would be difficult to hold an election amid “chaos” after the former opposition leader, Sam Rainsy, said he would call for protests.
Hun Sen said the report, published in the Phnom Penh Post, were inaccurate and the election would take place “no matter what”.
“If you do not know about something well, you should learn,” he said, adding that under the constitution the prime minister and parliament do not have the right to annul an election or postpone one.
He said: “This upcoming election must be carried out without any changes, no matter what happens. An election requires Cambodians to vote and there is no need for the presidents of any countries, the United Nations Secretary-General or the multilateral mechanism to recognize the election.”
Earlier this week, Rainsy, a former president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, the country’s main opposition, which was banned in November in a court decision, formed the Cambodia National Rescue Movement.
On Wednesday, Rainsy asked Hun Sen on Twitter to “postpone the next national elections until we all have guarantees that those polls meet minimum international standards.”
Sok Eysan, CPP spokesman, said the election would not be marred by violence or protests.
“The character of Sam Rainsy is to use his charisma to incite people to burn with anger. No results were achieved. People don’t believe him.”
Lao Mong Hay, a political analyst, said the government should delay voting to allow the opposition to return to Cambodia and contest the election.
“The government that emerges from that election [where the opposition are banned] will not have enough legitimacy. It is not acceptable for both inside and outside the country. Thus, the government just uses power to crackdown and it becomes totalitarian.”