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BREAKING NEWS: Kem Sokha Announces End of Relationship with Sam Rainsy and Wants to Hold a Public Press Conference

PHNOM PENH: Former leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, Kem Sokha, has announced in trial today that he is severing ties with Sam Rainsy and wants to hold a press conference. He made this statement during his ongoing trial at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday morning, 15 June.

Kem Sokha said that "[it is] over" between him and Sam Rainsy; there is no more comparison to be made between Kem Sokha and Sam Rainsy, that they the same person, after Sam Rainsy asked the Candlelight Party to participate in the election and attacked Kem Sokha by saying he had made a mistake for not going to the polls. Kem Sokha said he had long tolerated Sam Rainsy's actions up until that point.

Kem Sokha said, “Sam Rainsy, where he goes, what he announces, what he does, have I supported [his actions]? He announced on 9 November to gather forces to arrest the Prime Minister, calling on the army, I have never supported this! I have never supported it. I would like to confirm that it is forbidden for my comrades to interfere in this matter. It is true because I do not have the political right to speak in public, so it is obvious, because I have endured this for a long time, as I cannot speak in public. Whenever the judge allows me my political rights, I will hold a press conference to talk about this matter immediately."

"Anyone who wants to bring foreigners to destroy Cambodia should stay away from [me]," he added.

After the 2012 commune council election, the Sam Rainsy Party, led by Sam Rainsy, and the Human Rights Party, led by Kem Sokha, merged to form the CNRP to run in the 2013 parliamentary elections.

However, after Kem Sokha was arrested and the CNRP was dissolved by the Supreme Court, the party alliance split and a series of new parties were formed to run in the upcoming elections, while the original party, the Candlelight Party (former Sam Rainsy Party) also participated in the election.

Kem Sokha also announced the severance of ties with Sam Rainsy once before on 28 November 2021, in a post he made on his Facebook page, asking Sam Rainsy and his party to stop using his name and photo in conjunction with its politically ambitious activities, confusing both national and international public opinion. He also stated that he was not involved and was not responsible for the activities of Sam Rainsy and his group.

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