Acting opposition leader Kem Sokha told supporters over the weekend that they must identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Cambodian People’s Party if they hope to claim victory in the 2018 election, and called on voters to keep a watchful eye when they go to the polls.
Speaking to hundreds of Cambodia National Rescue Party members and supporters in Kampot province’s Banteay Meas district on Saturday, Sokha reminded the crowd that while the CPP is “not an enemy”, it is “a competitor for the election”.
“We must think with our competitor, ‘Where is their strong point? Where is their weak point?’ We must find out,” he said.
Sokha went on to add that while the newly reformed National Election Committee included equal representation from both parties, as well as a neutral member, it was still an imperfect institution.
Therefore, the deputy party president maintained, voters need to do their part to “inspect” the workings of the election body come election time.
“I do not say this NEC is perfect, but it is much better than before . . . But to make the NEC fair we need to help to inspect it too. This is to win the election.”
If the opposition secures victory in 2018, Sokha continued, the party will focus on widespread reforms of the judiciary, National Assembly and armed forces.
But CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said he was confident that his party’s strengths would ensure that it would not lose power in the next election.
“The strong point of the Cambodian People’s Party is . . . [that we] work for the national interests,” he said.
Eysan added that judgments on the new NEC should be reserved.
“We cannot speak beforehand; [we] have to wait and see [the NEC’s] activity first – whether it acts properly according to its role as the law states or not.”