CHEA Mony said Wednesday that he was reconsidering plans to step down as president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, saying he had been inundated with requests from members who want him to stand as a candidate in elections scheduled for later this month.
On May 16, Chea Mony announced that he would resign from his position at the end of his current term and would not stand as a candidate in the June 27 elections. He cited health reasons for his decision, and added that a change of leadership could benefit the FTU.
“I want the union to be progressive,” he said. “If we want our country to be progressive we must have a change of leader.”
On Wednesday, Chea Mony said he is still ill and physically weak, but that statements of support he had received had given him “emotional strength”.
“I have a disease, and I have held the position for two mandates already, which means six years,” he said. “In the future I have no will to be president of the union anymore, but now I have received hundreds of letters from workers requesting me to be a candidate for the president election, and the letters encourage me to consider putting myself forward again.”
Cambodian Confederation of Unions president Rong Chhun said he would put himself on the ballot if necessary, but that he would prefer for Chea Mony to continue in the post.
“Nobody wants to be president now because they would like Chea Mony to continue his work,” he said. “We will try our best to push Chea Mony to be president again. If there is no choice, I will do it, but I have not registered my name for election.”
FTU secretary general Mann Seng Hak said people who had originally intended to stand for the role of president had bowed out of the running to “leave space blank for Chea Mony to be president for the next term”.
He added that there are currently no other candidates for the position.