The International Republican Institute (IRI) hosted The Honorable Sam Rainsy and The Honorable Tioulong Saumura, members of Cambodia’s Parliament and the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP), the main democratic opposition party in Cambodia at a luncheon at IRI. During his remarks Sam Rainsy told guests of the deteriorating conditions within Cambodia and the role the United States and the International Community can play in pressuring the Cambodian government to institute real democratic reform.  To view the event, click on the link below.

Cambodia faces rising unemployment, rising illiteracy rates and an increasing atmosphere of political intimidation and repression.  On February 3, 2005 the Cambodian National Assembly (NA) met and voted to remove the parliamentary immunity of Sam Rainsy, and two other SRP parliamentarians, Chea Poch, and Cheam Channy.  

In his meetings with U.S. officials, Sam Rainsy has asked that they consider supporting a visa ban on members of the ruling party and tying the tariff reduction relief to improvements in the Cambodian government.

Sam Rainsy is Cambodia’s parliamentary opposition leader and the president of the Kingdom’s largest opposition party.   In Cambodia’s first-ever multi-party local election in February 2002, the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) won 13 commune chief positions and more than 1,000 seats on commune councils throughout the country. The SRP capture 24 of the 123 seats in 2003 in the National Assembly despite a year long campaign of violence against local party activists.
In 1998, Sam Rainsy was elected to his second term in the National Assembly as a member of the Sam Rainsy Party—so called because of a 1997 legal battle with the government forcing him to change the original name from the Khmer Nation Party.  As the leader of Cambodia’s democratic opposition, Rainsy has demanded democratic reform, an end to impunity and the elimination of corruption from all levels of government.
In 1994, Sam Rainsy, then a member of the Funcinpec Party, was removed as Cambodia’s Minister of Finance for exposing corruption within the newly formed coalition government with the CPP.  Prior to Cambodia’s national elections in 1993, Rainsy served on the Supreme National Council of Cambodia, the United Nations backed interim governing body.
Between 1965 and 1992, Sam Rainsy lived in France where he worked in the private sector beginning his career as a financial analyst for Manufactures Hanover and Paribas from 1971 to 1985.  In 1985, he became a bank director at Paluel-Marmont specializing in financial research and stock investment and in 1988 he became Chairman and CEO of D.R. Gestion, a Paris based investment company.
In 1971, Rainsy received a degree in political science from the Institute of Political Studies in Paris and in 1973 received a second degree in economics.  Sam Rainsy later received his MBA from Fontainebleau-Paris in 1980.
Sam Rainsy was born in 1949 in Phnom Penh.  His father was a deputy minister in the Royal Government of then-Prince Sihanouk and his mother, who was a teacher, was the first Cambodian woman to finish high school and pass the “Baccalaureate” examination.  In 1971, Rainsy was married to Tioulong Saumura, also an SRP MP, with whom he has three children.

IRI, founded in 1983, is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing democracy, freedom, self-government and the rule of law worldwide.

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