Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen on Monday told the opposition to prepare coffins for themselves if they want to overthrow his legitimate government.
“You have not yet had possibility to overthrow Hun Sen through a military way. If you dare to do so, you will die, prepare coffins for yourself,” the prime minister said in a speech during the groundbreaking ceremony for a bridge across Tonle Sap River in northern Phnom Penh suburb.
“As I used to say before, to protect happiness and peace for the people, and not to let people be killed, we dare to eliminate some ill-willed people if it’s necessary,” he said.
His remarks came after an old video clip re-posted online recently showed Sam Rainsy, self-exiled former president of the country’s biggest opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), calling for the soldiers to turn their gun points at the legitimate government.
Speaking on the government’s legal actions against CNRP’s president Kem Sokha and his party, the prime minister said the actions were very important to maintain the country’s peace and stability.
Kem Sokha was arrested on Sept. 3 for allegedly plotting the overthrow of the government through the so-called “colour revolution” with the United States support.
He was accused of treason, the charge that could face up to 30 years in prison.
On Oct. 6, the Cambodian government filed a complaint to the Supreme Court, requesting the dissolution of the CNRP after Kem Sokha was charged with treason.
“We do not allow the traitor, who is under orders from foreign power(s), to destroy our nation,” Hun Sen said.
“Don’t say I eliminate political rivals because you consider yourself as my enemies,” he added.
Meanwhile, the prime minister also ordered the armed forces to be ready to respond to any situation that could threaten the country’s peace and stability.
CNRP is the main rival to the prime minister’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), as the Southeast Asian country is gearing up for the national elections in July 2018.
In the last national elections in 2013, the CNRP earned 55 parliamentary seats and the CPP won 68 seats in the 123-seat parliament.