Sam Rainsy, the former president of opposition party the Cambodia National Rescue Party who has been living in exile in France. KT/Chor Sokunthea
Rainsy to be allowed back
Khmer Times | 14 June 2017
The government has lifted its ban and will allow former opposition leader Sam Rainsy to return to Cambodia.
A statement sent to National Police Commissioner General Neth Savoeun and Director General of Immigration General Sok Phal on Wednesday, which was signed by Council of Ministers’ Secretary of State Tekreth Samrach, said “according to the notation of Prime Minister Hun Sen, the government decided to left its ban on the case of Sam Rainsy, a former president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP)”.
The ban of Mr Rainsy was imposed in October last year and instructed all airlines and international airports as well as international border checkpoints to look and check for the name of Sam Rainsy and not allow him to get into Cambodia.
The ban also said that any airline that carried Mr Rainsy would not be allowed to land in Cambodia and would be diverted to its original destination.
Mr Rainsy has been living in exile in France to avoid a jail term in which he was convicted in absentia to a 20-month jail term in March for accusing the government of being behind the murder of a prominent analyst Kem Ley.
Mr Rainsy, a long-time rival of Prime Minister Hun Sen, also faces a string of convictions and charges he claims are politically motivated and he stepped down as leader of the CNRP in February before ruling party lawmakers amended the law on political parties which prevented him as a convicted person from joining politics.
CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann applauded the move, saying it could lead to a political resolution.
“He [Sam Rainsy] is a Cambodian so he should have the right to live in Cambodia,” he said.