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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Reforms critical for ex-Alliance members

Reforms critical for ex-Alliance members

Several politicians doubt FUNCINPEC and the Sam Rainsy party (SRP) will ever win

elections after having relatively gauged what will be their credibility with the

public. The sudden collapse of the "Alliance of democrats" depicted a political

campaign that has cast disagreement among the self-proclaimed democrats in terms

of tactical errors since the introduction of a liberal democracy system in

Cambodia. The new political way the two parties have just chosen had been

blocked by this collapse that was the cause of their return to the original

state of being at loggerheads with each other. They will likely conclude neither

an electoral pact nor a political collaborative venture between them.

Facing the fact that they cannot afford to solve growing internal

problems, they are proceeding with reforms that are not yet clear. Nobody knows

whether the parties' elites are behind this exciting prospect of reform.

FUNCINPEC started implementing reform by decreasing the number of its

deputy-secretary generals from more than twenty to six, and changing officials

in the provinces - even though nothing worthy of comment happened regarding the

new nomination to the above positions. Meanwhile, an interesting piece of news

over a schedule to replace the SRP secretary general, and its steps toward

reform, has mesmerized its members and local media.

Supporters of the

ruling party were gossiping about those initiatives by classifying them as

nonsense. For instance, they usually said that: "No one from those parties can

grasp to do such a reform because they are not strong, smart and wealthy enough

to do politics."

Practically, reform includes change, but change does not

imply strictly reform. Each reform should be stirred up to action by prevailing

"voluntarism" that is usually subject of the elite's business, and has nothing

to do with the routine. The party's leaders will have to face a tense agenda and

lead an effort to define and maintain the party's reforming system that reflects

the new, revolutionary circumstances adequately to democracy.

As a

matter of fact, reform is planned for wining the next elections, if not other

purposes. It is not limited to dealing with removing the party's officials and

interchanging their posts and responsibilities. When shaping a series of actions

or operations to perform the reform, a team, consisting of selective members

with pluralistic features, in the know on effective functioning system of

political party to advise on Cambodia's political evolution, would be properly

created to be responsible for leading this heavy work. This team will have to

study both on amending the party's statutes, and working out regulations and

rules to ban personal and institutional dominance in order to improve the

party's efficiency to gain strong and honest support nation wide. But, it is

very petty of the party to hatch a plan of reform for self-interest. This is

self-defeating.

Reform is also expected to bring about new substantial

and pragmatic knowledge of open-mindedness and transparency that helps people

understand the values and issues related to politicians and parties. Should this

mind transcend other partiesÇ limited advantage.

By keeping a real

perspective on election victory, political parties should be open to sincere and

exhaustive debate between change and reform, as well as the subject of

"voluntarism" that manages them to acquire remarkable ability to get things

done.

Reform is absolutely imperative, and change is the name of the game

for a modern Cambodia.

Phi Thach is currently a member of FUNCINPEC.

He defected from the Sam Raisy Party in August.

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