The two congresses held last month by the Kingdom's governing political parties
ended with strategies for upcoming elections and resolutions to forge even
closer coalition ties at all levels government.
According to their
respective agendas, the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and Funcinpec
aimed at building solidarity and cooperation in the government, legislature and
other state institutions in the spirit of national reconciliation.
highly value the fruitful cooperation between the CPP and Funcinpec, our
inseparable partner," CPP President Chea Sim wrote on the party's Web site on
Hun Sen, Prime Minister and vice president of the CPP,
avoided reporters after the party's November 23 extraordinary congress. However,
on the CPP's Web site he wrote that the continued cooperation between CPP and
Funcinpec is considered to be Cambodia's prime opportunity to preserve peace and
stability and would heal the scars left behind by the decades-long
"Concession and stability are invaluable, but it is not easy to
obtain and safeguard them. Peace is key to ensuring co-existence and cooperation
to prevent internal disintegration and hostility," said Hun Sen.
forces defeated Funcinpec troops and deposed then-first Prime Minister Prince
Ranariddh in 1997. This has been cited as a key political event that has shaped
The CPP and Funcinpec broke down the political deadlock a
year after the 2003 national elections. This current era of political
cooperation has been a major test for politicians and the major political
parties in Cambodia.
"I have said time and again that the two parties
should consider their partner's firmness being their most important interest,
while making all out efforts in the spirit of faithful partner on the basis of
legal principle and democracy aimed at strengthening and promoting one another,"
said Hun Sen.
Hun Sen and Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh
will be the only prime ministerial candidates in the 2008 elections. This was
established at the conclusion of the respective congresses as the two parties
promised to uphold their political guidelines.
"Just now Samdech Krom
Preah Norodom Ranariddh, President of Funcinpec, on its behalf, declares the
Funcinpec's support to me-Hun Sen-for the post of Prime Minister in case the
Cambodian People's Party wins. I declare the CPP's support for Samdech Krom
Preah for the post of Prime Minister in case Funcinpec wins the election," Hun
Sen said in his speech on November 14 to the Funcinpec congress at the Olympic
He said that over the last decade Funcinpec and CPP have endured
many challenges and gained much political experience together.
experiences indicate clearly the indispensability in the leading role of the two
parties in the political process of Cambodian society," Hun Sen told about 4,000
members of Funcinpec. "Whenever our two parties are strong and reconciling in
their leadership of the state and national construction, the country and its
people will certainly be enjoying peace, stability, social order and harmonized
At the groundbreaking ceremony of the national road between
Siem Reap and Poipet on November 19, Hun Sen said the two parties have a common
objective and that either party's success would be the success of the coalition.
"We-CPP and FUNCINPEC-would furthermore collaborate from bottom to top
in getting things done," said Hun Sen.
High level CPP officials such as
Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, CPP secretary-general Say Chhum and other CPP
parliamentarians Ek Sam Ol, Pen Panha, and Cheam Yeap, attended the Funcinpec
congress. No Funcinpec officials, however, were invited to the CPP
The CPP appointed 121 new members to the CPP's powerful Central
Committee, adding to the existing 153 members, the party's central committee now
having a total 268 members.
One political analyst said, on condition of
anonymity, that a majority of the new CPP members were loyal to Hun Sen and that
this will ensure that there are no other party members to challenge the prime
The analyst added that there has long been a rumor
that a faction led by Chea Sim and Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng would mount a
challenge inside the CPP that would lead to a division in the
"During one period between sessions a development arose which was
complicated but we managed to normalize the situation," said Chea Sim, who
attributed the resolution to experiences, patience and responsibility stemming
from the party's strong internal unity and solidarity.
party supporters at Olympic Stadium that to succeed in a long term political
alliance with the CPP, the parties must not make defamatory statements against
each other during the election campaign.
"The two main parties will make
a joint political program for the forthcoming election campaign," Ranariddh
However, at the party celebrating the 10th anniversary of the
opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) on November 29, the party leader Sam Rainsy
spoke to his several thousand participants by long distance telephone from
Paris. The self-exiled leader said that he will return to Cambodia in the near
future to lead the party and promised to change the party's name when Cambodia
has a real democracy and the fair judicial system.
He told his
supporters that the current party name will return to its original Khmer Nation
"I admire all the colleagues who do not surrender [to CPP
and Funcinpec] and still struggle for the benefit of the nation. I am proud to
have brilliant supporters. Our party will grow bigger every day even if there is
intimidation," said Rainsy. "There is no one who can break our
Rainsy has been in France for months. He fled Cambodia when his
parliamentary immunity was withdrawn earlier in the year.
On November 22,
the Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued a third summons for Sam Rainsy to testify
in his ongoing defamation lawsuit by Hun Sen and Prince Ranariddh.
accused Ranariddh of being involved in bribe-taking during the formation of the
coalition government after the political deadlock following the 2003
Kong Kom, acting president of the SRP, said that the alliance
between CPP and Funcinpec will die when the parties are not be able to reform
the judicial system, administer good governance or reduce poverty because of the
corruption within their ruling parties.