Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Cambodia Pardons Opposition Leader Sam Rainsy Before Vote

July 12 (Bloomberg) -- Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni pardoned opposition leader Sam Rainsy following a request from Prime Minister Hun Sen about two weeks before a national election, government spokesman Phay Siphan said.

Sam Rainsy has lived abroad since 2009 to avoid a jail sentence on charges he says were politically motivated, including falsifying maps and inciting racial discrimination. Hun Sen sought the pardon to assist peace and reconciliation for the country, Phay Siphan said.

This “is not because of the election, but because of peace and stability,” Phay Siphan said by phone, referring to Hun Sen.

The move may improve Cambodia’s image ahead of the July 28 election as Hun Sen, 60, seeks to extend a nearly three-decade hold on power. Sam Rainsy last month warned of violence if fraud taints the election outcome in one of Asia’s poorest countries.

Phay Siphan said that Sam Rainsy accepted his guilt as part of the pardon process. Sam Rainsy didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment.

Cambodia’s two main opposition parties holding about one quarter of the seats in parliament united last year to contest as the Cambodia National Rescue Party. Sam Rainsy had been banned from running as a candidate in July’s poll.

Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party won 90 of 123 seats in an election in 2008 that was described by the U.S. as an “improvement” over previous votes despite some flaws. The party is set to win again even though the opposition is poised to take more seats, Phay Siphan said.

Asked if the party will retain power, he said: “Of course -- 100 percent.”

Cambodia’s economy grew 7.2 percent last year on higher consumption and investment, the Asian Development Bank said in April. Gross domestic product is forecast to expand at the same pace this year and 7.5 percent in 2014 as the U.S. and Europe buy more Cambodia-made garments and footwear, the ADB said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Ten Kate in Bangkok at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.