Cambodia's opposition leader, Sam Rainsy, returned to the country on Friday after more than three years of self-imposed exile. However, the criminal charges against him made him ineligible to vote or run for office. But following last week's royal pardon, some analysts say there is still hope that the National Election Committee will allow for his participation in the election through a political compromise. VOA's Men Kimseng interviewed Sam Rainsy on a special show on Friday on his plan to lead his party to victory.
Cambodia's opposition leader, Sam Rainsy, returned to the country on Friday after more than three years of self-imposed exile, kneeling to kiss the ground after he landed and addressing throngs of supporters who crowded Phnom Penh's parks and boulevards to greet him. "We go together to rescue the country," he told the crowd. "I am here to rescue you all." Sam Rainsy was given a royal pardon last week, absolving him of charges he said were politically motivated and allowing for his return ahead of elections July 28. (VOA Khmer់'s Say Mony reporters from Phnom Penh)
With Sam Rainsy expected to return to Cambodia on Friday, experts say there are a number of scenarios that could put him as a candidate for the July 28 election. Sam Rainsy, who is the leader of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, received a royal pardon for a number of crimes last week, paving the way for his return. But NEC officials have said he remains ineligible to vote in or contest the upcoming elections. Sok Khemara, VOA Khmer
The US State Department on Friday welcomed news that opposition leader Sam Rainsy has received a royal pardon, allowing for his return to Cambodia ahead of the July 28 elections. But in a Friday media briefing, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also urged Cambodia to continue reforms to ensure a credible election, including the implementation of 18 separate recommendations made by the UN’s special rights envoy to Cambodia, Surya Subedi. Pin Sisovann, Washington.
More than 1,000 Cambodian-Americans and their supporters held a demonstration of Friday in front of the White House in Washington, calling on US President Barack Obama to help ensure free and fair elections in Cambodia later this month and to continue to push for human rights and democracy in Cambodia. Protesters came from at least 10 states across the country and included not only Cambodian-American citizens, but Buddhist monks, Khmer minorities from Vietnam and Montagnards. VOA Khmer's Sok Khemara reports.
As the Cambodian national elections approach, both the ruling and opposition parties are gaining momentum. That could mean neither the Cambodian People's Party nor the Cambodia National Rescue Party will win a landslide, potentially forcing the rivals to share power. VOA Khmer's Men Kimseng and Sok Khemara discuss what that kind of arrangement might mean for governance and lawmaking after the election.
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy says despite prospect of arrest he will go back to Cambodia on time for general election on July 28. He says there's no better chance to change the government than now, which is why he is willing to risk a return to Cambodia. VOA's Kimseng Men discussed with Sok Khemara that a royal pardon will be a win-win solution for both the government and Sam Rainsy. The opposition leader is facing a raft of charges he says are politically motivated and faces more than 10 years in prison if he returns to Cambodia.
Cambodia’s endemic corruption is most apparent in the institutions of the judiciary, the police, public officials and political parties, Transparency International has found. Soeung Saroeun, a board member at Transparency International Cambodia, said that in a recent survey, the group found that the institutions that are supposed to protect people are those most often seen by the public as abusing their power. VOA Khmer's Heng Reasmey reports from Phnom Penh.
US Congressmen on Tuesday held a hearing on "Cambodia's Looming Political and Social Crisis" to examine the deteriorating human rights situation in Cambodia and the state of the affairs in the run-up to the election on July 28, 2013. VOA Khmer's Pin Sisovann reports from Washington.