PHNOM PENH —
A ruling Cambodian People’s Party spokesman has claimed the former leader of the opposition is “mentally ill” after the ex-Cambodia National Rescue Party president said the CPP was trying to end his political career by passing restrictive laws preventing him from taking part in the political process.
Sam Rainsy wrote on his Facebook page this week after the CPP passed amendments to the political parties law on Monday that the CPP was trying to “politically kill” him.
Sok Eysan, CPP spokesman, responded on Tuesday saying that Rainsy’s resignation from the CNRP was voluntary and rather than being targeted by the CPP he was committing “political suicide”.
“Because he is unemployed and lost his role in politics after almost 20 years, subsequently he is mentally ill since he used to lead people and now he is nothing,” he said.
Rainsy resigned from the party in February after the CPP passed amendments to the political parties law that could have seen the CNRP dissolved if he continued to lead the party. The changes made it illegal for a party leader to hold a criminal record. Rainsy was sentenced several years ago in a defamation case, which led him to go into exile in 2015 fearing arrest. The new amendments passed on Monday make it illegal for political parties to use material produced by convicted criminals, such as recordings of speeches or Facebook posts.
Rainsy wrote in his Facebook post that the CPP’s moves against him were “useless, futile and counterproductive” and that Prime Minister Hun Sen “would better use his time and energy to put things right.”