Prime Minister Hun Sen claimed that only the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has the capability to ensure political stability and peace in the Kingdom, as evidenced by the last 44 years of national development under its leadership.

Speaking at the January 2 groundbreaking ceremony for a bridge spanning the Mekong River in Kratie province, Hun Sen said the CPP has always supported the people through all situations, good and bad.

He thanked the public for supporting his party through many elections, and hoped they would make the same decision in the upcoming July national election.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said that for the last 44 years, his party has built peace and brought security to Cambodia. This included toppling the genocidal Khmer Rouge and seeking national reconciliation through the Paris Peace Agreements, which paved the way for the UN-administered general election in 1993. These accomplishments were followed by national unity with the reintegration of the Khmer Rouge in 1998 through Hun Sen’s win-win policy, culminating in rapid development and integration into the region and the world.

Thach Setha, spokesman of the Candlelight Party – the country’s second-largest party after the CPP, said Hun Sen’s claims should be viewed as political rhetoric.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, echoed Hun Sen’s statement, saying that the CPP had stood with the people through many turbulent times, including the Khmer Rouge era, the cold war, and the geopolitical contests of the super powers, and had brought stability and comprehensive peace to the country.

“If the CPP is not in power, there can be no political stability. For the last 44 years, the CPP has applied its party structure and philosophy to all forms of governance, from the top to the grassroots level, so each of the Kingdom’s achievements is born from the CPP,” he said.

Peou urged both the CPP and other parties to contest the July 23 national election in good faith by demonstrating their political platforms and strategies to develop the country.

“They should avoid personal attacks on each other, as doing so brings nothing to the nation,” he added.