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PM Clarifies Statement Linking Thai Politician to ‘Cambodian Extremists’

PHNOM PENH: Prime Minister Hun Sen made an effort to clarify his message linking the setbacks of Thai politician Pita Limjaroenrat to the failure of his own political opponents.

In a Twitter post on the morning of July 14, the PM said that he has no intent of interfering in Thailand’s internal affairs, but that Cambodian groups who use Pita’s name for political gain saw their wishes dissolve “like salt in water.” when the Thai MP did not receive enough parliamentary votes to become Prime Minister yesterday.

Pita is the leader of the progressive Move Forward Party that won the most votes in Thailand’s general election on May 14. Yesterday, he failed to win enough votes in the parliamentary confirmation, however he says he will not surrender and his party is already strategizing for the next vote, which is expected to be held next week.

In a since-deleted Tweet from July 13, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that unnamed Cambodian “extremist groups” were using Pita’s political gains as their own. He claimed to have heard in a foreign radio broadcast that his political opponents had plans to enter Cambodia through Thailand once Pita assumed his role as PM. The post received a lot of attention from Thai nationals, “Thai people commented in Thai language which I could not understand,” said the PM.

He emphasized that he respects the decisions of the Thai people and will work with whichever leader they appoint. However, he warned his opponents not to use the political careers of others to further their agenda which “destroys their own nation.”

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