PHNOM PENH - The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party is preparing to submit a request to the National Election Committee to put its leader, Sam Rainsy, as a candidate to contest elections against Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Sam Rainsy is expected to return Friday from nearly four years in exile, following a royal pardon last week. Election officials say he remains ineligible to vote or run in the elections.
A request would likely force a decision at the NEC, which the opposition has accused of bias for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.
“There is no law to allow registering him at the moment,” Tep Nitha, secretary-general of the NEC, told VOA Khmer Tuesday.
However, Lao Mong Hay, an independent political analyst, told VOA Khmer that Sam Rainsy’s running in the election is possible.
“There is room for the NEC to decide to put on its list Sam Rainsy as candidate,” he said.
The royal pardon would allow for it, he said, which would improve the chances of a free and fair election.