Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP protests Japan in Seoul

CNRP protests Japan in Seoul

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Former Cambodia National Rescue Party Deputy President Mu Sochua gives a speech during the protest outside the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, on Sunday. facebook

CNRP protests Japan in Seoul

Former leaders of the court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) protested in Seoul, South Korea, on Sunday, demanding the reinstatement of its politicians to stand in the Kingdom’s July 29 national elections.

The latest protest follows similar ones held previously in the US, France, New Zealand and Japan.

Speaking to protesters near the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, former CNRP lawmaker Mu Sochua urged Japan to suspend aid to Cambodia’s National Election Committee (NEC).

She said a petition to this effect, signed by Cambodians in the US, South Korea and Thailand, would be handed to the embassy, and that elections held without the CNRP would not be recognised by the international community.

Sochua also demanded a political solution for exiled former CNRP politicians to return to Cambodia without having to face prosecution – something she said would be a move by an “unjust court” beholden to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government.

“We demand the return of CNRP leaders, free from the hands of Hun Sen’s unjust court. We must be able to return to Cambodia without the fear of arrest.

“We demand the end to any law that allows the Hun Sen regime’s unjust courts to detain patriots and which forces them into exile.

“We demand the secure right to return – [and if it is granted then] we will go back, but we will not go back in order to be detained,” she said.

Sochua threatened that the demonstrations would continue until her stated demands were met.

“We are Cambodians. We have choices, and our choices are very clear. We will not give legitimacy to Hun Sen’s unfair elections – unjust and not free elections,” she said.

Addressing the 19 parties that will compete with the CPP on July 29, she stressed: “In spite of the participation of other parties, without the CNRP, we cannot accept them as free and fair elections.”

Sochua said the petition would be sent to Japan. “We respect Japan and the Japanese government, so we have made this statement. We urge Japan to withdraw its assistance to the NEC, which is now in the hands of the Cambodian People’s Party,” she said.

South Korean media quoted Cambodian Ambassador to that country Long Dimanche as saying the number of Cambodians at the demonstration was just over 1,000.

This number, he said, is less than two percent of the 60,000 Cambodians working in South Korea. Hence, they did not represent a majority view.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan described the protest as a “normal” part of democracy and said the demonstrators were small in number compared to the thousands of Cambodian in South Korea.

That fact, he said, proved the demonstrators had failed to influence the majority that supports the CPP.

“This is just a trick, collecting names in order to force Japan to comply with [CNRP] demands.

“It’s a big mistake to think the Japanese government is weak and will agree to the demands. There is no way this will happen. Japan will not undermine its independence and sovereignty to bow down to a handful of demonstrators,” Eysan stressed.

He said if the former opposition leaders wished to return to Cambodia, they can do so but will have to face court action which resulted from a complaint by the Ministry of Interior.

“If they are found guilty, they will become ordinary citizens [and not be allowed to enter politics] for five years, according to the final verdict of the Supreme Court,” Eysan said.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Schools drawn into Manet degree row

    Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the Hun Manet-Sam Rainsy war of words over the validity of Manet’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, set off by Rainsy’s claims that Manet had received a “second-class degree” or “honorary degree”. Hun

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished