Cambodia National Rescue Party leader Sam Rainsy on Monday pointed to recent electoral successes of opposition parties around the world to make his case that a regular change in government is key to progress.
Taking opposition party wins in Canada, Venezuela, Argentina, Taiwan and Myanmar as examples, Rainsy said, “Only such a periodic and alternating change in leadership can make a country progress.”
Though he did not mention the ruling Cambodian People’s Party by name, only that party and its forebears have governed Cambodia since 1979, a situation that Rainsy argued had left Cambodia “one of the poorest, most authoritarian, most backward countries of the world”.
Rainsy also noted that three of the five winning parties were, like the CNRP, affiliated with Liberal International, a body of liberal democratic political parties. The CPP, he maintained in a later post, had been denied membership in a similar socialist-leaning group “because of its poor democratic credentials”.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan, however, quickly moved to deflate Rainsy’s rhetoric, saying the opposition parties Rainsy mentioned were different from the CNRP in one key respect: they were popular enough to win an election.