Stillwater News Press

Our World

July 19, 2013

Cambodian opposition leader returns from exile

(Continued)

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia —

Rainsy is a charismatic and fiery speaker — qualities that have landed him in trouble before.

He is expected to draw large crowds as he embarks on a whirlwind campaign tour that his party says will take him to over a dozen provinces in a week. He is likely to push hard on issues of corruption and land grabbing, with tens or hundreds of thousands of Cambodians displaced from their homes and farms under what are often shady circumstances.

Among the supporters at the airport was 74-year-old Chea Pirum who called Rainsy the politician he respected most in Cambodia.

"I've lived through five regimes and I have seen the other leaders, but Sam Rainsy is different," the man said. "He has devoted everything to the country, especially the poor, like me. I hope his return will bring full democracy."

Rainsy's pardon came after the U.S. and others had said his exclusion from the campaign would call into question the polls' legitimacy. Because he was absent during the registration periods, he will be unable to run as a candidate, or even vote, although his lawyers have said they were seeking a way to allow his participation.

"My return is no more than a step on a long journey towards achieving self-determination for Cambodia," Sam Rainsy wrote after he was pardoned. He criticized the official election body as unsupportive of democracy and said, "The mere fact of my return does not create a free and fair election for Cambodia."

The July 28 election will be the fifth parliamentary poll since the United Nations brokered a peace deal for Cambodia in 1991, a process meant to end decades of bloodshed that included the communist Khmer Rouge's catastrophic 1975-79 rule, during which an estimated 1.7 million people died in torture centers, labor camps or of starvation or disease.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Our World
Must Read
Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Stocks
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years