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Rainsy’s numbers just don’t add up

sam rainsy paris
In the firing line: politician Sam Rainsy looks over papers after an interview in Paris. Bloomberg

Dear Editor,

Back in February last year, Sam Rainsy created “the 17 per cent of disfranchised voters”.

Then, in January, he created “the 10 per cent of fictional voters” to create an illusion that, when the 31 per cent of popular vote the oppos-ition won during the last commune election was added, the opposition “must be projected to win the July, 2013 election”.

He cooked up these numbers to be used as sources of reference for his call for foreign observers to stay away from the legislative election in Cambodia and for foreigners not to lend legitimacy to the result of the election.

Although there’s a saying that numbers don’t lie, the numbers cooked up by Rainsy raise questions about his honesty and integrity.

They also serve to illustrate his notoriously manipulative nature.

Some foreigners are smart enough to use Rainsy to advance their own agenda, whether in their home country or internationally, and Suyra Subedi, the UN Special Rapporteur for Cambodia, appears to be one of them.

It seems to me the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) is operating as a political party, but Rainsy is deteriorating as a politician.

In the absence of information to the contrary, the CNRP will participate in July’s general election, but Rainsy will not.

He laments the fact that he has been sentenced to a long prison term, forced into self-exile to avoid being incarcerated, and denied his civic and political rights for being a convicted felon on the run, but he cannot prove to the world that he and the CNRP are inseparable, like Siamese twins.

This is a nasty reality for him, and perhaps for the leaders of other political parties: that the individual is expendable for a number of reasons.

The July election is not a game, and it is not “a game that has been fixed in advance”, as Rainsy so frivolously and irresponsibly claims.

It is a battle that only seasoned politicians, and a well organised political party, can endure and find a legitimate platform to win.

And legitimacy will be given to winners by voters who go to the polling booths and freely exercise their civic duty.

The most recent commune election was proof that the National Election Committee and Cambodia’s citizens have, respectively, displayed their professional efficiency and civic maturity and have conducted themselves admirably in terms of organising the electoral process and behaving at polling places.

International observers — and it must be emphasised that they are not “ill-informed”, as a con-descending Rainsy rates them — will not be discouraged by his call to avoid coming to Cambodia because of those fictitious numbers he has cooked up.

They will not shy away from their duty to observe, and deliver a verdict on, how the July legislative election is run.

Cooking the numbers is bad enough, but cooking them to be used as a source of reference for Rainsy’s own statement urging foreigners to avoid observing the July legislative election, is despicable.

It paints Rainsy, who has been pretending to be a politician and a political-party leader for more than three decades, in a very bad light.

Professor Pen Ngoeun
University of Puthisastra
Phnom Penh



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