Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP to hold regular discussions of policy



CNRP to hold regular discussions of policy

Lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang speaks to supporters at the CNRP headquarters in Phnom Penh yesterday where he announced the party’s intention to hold triweekly policy forums.
Lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang speaks to supporters at the CNRP headquarters in Phnom Penh yesterday where he announced the party’s intention to hold triweekly policy forums. Heng Chivoan

CNRP to hold regular discussions of policy

The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) said yesterday it would hold regular public policy forums in an effort to reach out to voters and address criticisms that it is not serious about policymaking.

CNRP lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang said the forums – scheduled to start on Wednesday – would include discussions on the judicial system, government decentralisation and the upcoming elections, and would be held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the party headquarters in the capital.

Party spokesman Yim Sovann said the public would have the opportunity to ask questions during the forums.

“People need to be aware of the needed reforms, so we want to speak to the public and find solutions to the problems we’re encountering,” he said.

The move comes in the wake of criticism from the Cambodia-America Alliance (CAA) that party leader Sam Rainsy is focusing on “minuscule and juvenile” issues instead of genuine policy matters.

Rainsy regularly posts pictures of himself on social media – recently visiting vineyards in the French countryside or, to show his support for the Black Monday campaign, riding a bicycle through Paris.

“I see a little bit of negligence from Sam Rainsy, he’s not paying attention to the issues people are facing,” said CAA vice-president Veasna Roeun. “He should focus more on the social issues and injustices, because the ruling party isn’t addressing them.”

Asked whether he would participate in the public forums, Rainsy responded that he would do whatever his colleagues requested.

“I just follow them,” Rainsy said, adding that he had had a long conversation with CNRP deputy Kem Sokha on Sunday to discuss “this and that”.

Prominent political analyst Ou Virak, meanwhile, welcomed the CNRP’s decision but said he felt the move was too little, too late.

“They should have been talking about policy from the beginning,” Virak said. “They should have a vision – that’s why you start a party.”

Still, he added, it was positive that the party was making plans without Rainsy. “It doesn’t appear that Rainsy has any ideas or policies, so the CNRP needs to move forward,” he said.

The CAA’s Roeun said the opposition ought to invite members of the ruling party to the discussions.

“We think it’s great they are holding these forums,” he said. “It would be even better if they invited the ruling party to debate with them so they could go back to something that resembles a culture of dialogue.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Time to Rise by rapper, chapei legend is viral hit with ancient-modern mix

    Kong Nay is known internationally as the master of the chapei dang veng, a traditional Cambodian instrument resembling a long-necked lute or guitar with two nylon strings that he was already playing professionally by the age of 15. Nay is sometimes referred to as the Cambodian

  • Cambodia set for large-scale vaccination campaign as Covid spreads

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed all provincial authorities to get ready for a large-scale vaccination campaign, with at least one million doses to be administered per month. “We will roll out at least one million doses. The vaccines we have purchased and received as