A ceremony marking the founding of the Kampuchean People’s Revolutionary Party in 1951 – a forerunner of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party – was used on Saturday to lambaste the opposition for not joining the National Assembly following disputed elections last July.
“Taking actions contrary to the will of voters, [the] CNRP has denied the electoral results,” Heng Samrin, honorary president of the CPP, told about 10,000 gathered supporters at the party’s headquarters.
“[The CNRP has] defamed the legitimacy of the National Assembly … while inciting anarchic street demonstrations aimed at changing the Cambodian situation according to their will and contrary to the constitution,” he added.
Prime Minister Hun Sen and a coterie of senior CPP officials flanked by foreign diplomats also attended the ceremony.
Chea Sim, CPP president, was absent from the proceedings due to ill health, senior CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said. “[Sim’s] health is not good; therefore he cannot attend the celebration. He is fine, but sometimes he gets dizzy.”
Samrin went on to denounce the CNRP’s post-election tactics, saying that the intention was to provoke unrest, with the ultimate goal being the destabilisation of the economy and pushing the ruling party into crisis.
“Their actions created real difficulties.… However, those disruptions could not prevent the march forward of the country,” he said, adding that the “door remains open” for negotiations.
Talks have progressed little since a phone call between Hun Sen and CNRP president Sam Rainsy on April 9.
CNRP chief negotiator Son Chhay yesterday said the speech showed the CPP was “very desperate”.
“They say the economy is OK, that everything is normal. But the fact is that everybody knows that this is not the case. Cambodia has really no new investment.… [The people] said, ‘If you’re going to keep the corrupt system, you will face a serious crisis in the near future’.”
Political analyst Kem Ley said: “I think that this country is waiting for turmoil because the CPP controls the society like communists and controls the courts, and the Royal Palace and the government institutions.”