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CNRP faithful wasted their time, PM claims

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday mocked diehard opposition party supporters whom he said had devoted themselves and their livelihoods to the Cambodia National Rescue Party during its 10-month boycott of parliament, only to now be left abandoned and “in poverty” after the CNRP decided to take its seats.

Speaking to Norton University students during a graduation ceremony on Koh Pich, the premier first told the crowd that he was glad a political deal signed between the two parties on July 22 had brought an end to a year of deadlock.

He then took aim at opposition backers, who he said had single-mindedly followed the CNRP – instead of thinking about their families or jobs – during months of post-election protests.

“In the end, politicians are politicians. In the end, [the CNRP] joined the parliament while all of you are now outside selling cows, selling buffaloes, selling chicken and selling ducks,” Hun Sen said.

“Politicians are like a short boat [that can change direction easily]. A decision of the [CNRP’s] people’s congress was that the will of the people banned [the party] from joining parliament. But suddenly the will of the people [changed] to support [the CNRP] joining and struggling in parliament.”

Those who had not joined the opposition’s lengthy but ultimately unsuccessful crusade to reject the 2013 election and hold a fresh poll, Hun Sen intimated, were better off now than those who had.

“People who were not absorbed [with the CNRP], they are not poor [now] because they thought about their rice pot as well,” he said.

Opposition supporters both here and abroad have expressed disappointment in aspects of the deal that ended the political impasse. But CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann yesterday dismissed the premier’s words, saying that the Cambodian people will be able to see through such a transparent attempt to “incite” the public to turn against the opposition party.

“Khmer citizens have access to information to follow politicians and have the common sense to decide [on their own] to select leaders and take part in political affairs,” he said.

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Max_Hydr0's picture

PM Hun Sen is neither an intellectual nor a philosopher. But he is definitely a shrewd political adversary. Having survived a lengthy involvement as a soldier with the Khmer Rouge and then years serving the Vietnamese, Hun Sen has a lot of unanswered questions to reveal of his dark past. So, when he spoke yesterday at his favorite stronghold on Koh Pich with his conceited remarks, saying that the CNRP opposition boycott was an act of "abandonment" toward their loyal followers, the PM was not correctly considering the moral and ethical decision-making conducted by Sam Rainsy during the previous 10 months. Hun Sen was instead stoking the smoldering fire of animosity his CPP party harbors against civil justice and moral governance. What of the countless police attacks on protesting factory workers, murders of innocent rally demonstrators and illegal land thefts by friends of elites since national election last year? Is the CPP innocent and morally superior than the CNRP? And what of the backhanded remark made by the PM in his public speech: “People who were not absorbed [with the CNRP], they are not poor [now] because they thought about their rice pot as well." What does that statement even mean? Simply an inappropriate opinion tossed at the ciizens of Cambodia given by an unsophisticated brute in a pricey business suit.

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