WAVING a Cambodian People’s Party flag and sporting stickers bearing the number four on each cheek, Yann Sothy, 23, joined an estimated 15,000 garment workers in a pro-CPP parade around the capital.
Shouting to make his voice heard over the thousands gathered for the rally’s launch on Koh Pich, Sothy said he would definitely vote for the ruling party, which is listed fourth on the ballot for the upcoming election.
“I love the CPP because it helps our country be peaceful and the workers have work to do,” Sothy said.
Som Aun, president of the pro-government National Union Alliance Chamber of Cambodia and a leader of the rally, said that members from 64 different unions, riding 500 trucks and more than 2,000 motorcycles, had joined the demonstration.
“We planned to rally with 150,000 workers, but the authorities did not allow it because of traffic. So we reduced it to 15,000 workers,” he said. “They are from not only my union but also from other unions, because they love and support the CPP and we welcome everyone.”
CPP supporter and Free Trade Union member Hun Sophat, 30, said that although CPP support may have decreased from previous years due to young voters favouring other parties, he still expected the CPP to win.
He added that the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s promise to increase the monthly minimum wage to $150 if victorious was not feasible because “employers would not agree”.
Knowing better, the CPP was working to gradually increase wages and had brought numerous investors and jobs to Cambodia, Social Affairs Minister Ith Sam Heng said at the rally, while appealing for the crowd to vote for the CPP.
FTU President Chea Mony, meanwhile, yesterday declared his union’s support for the CNRP due to policies like the opposition’s promised minimum wage increase.
The decision was made at a meeting in which 76 out of 79 FTU representatives from 37 factories expressed support for the CNRP, Mony said.