While lauding the altruistic generosity of his family members, Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday said the Cambodian People’s Party would be hit by vote-buying allegations if it helped farmers likely to face drought during the July election campaign.
Speaking to thousands in Kampong Thom province’s Sambo district at yet another pagoda works inauguration, Hun Sen warned of the difficulties the CPP would face if the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology’s prediction of a drought next month proves accurate.
“We need to supply water to the rice fields of farmers who will face drought, but it will also suit some political parties, as we would be accused of vote-buying through these activities,” the premier said.
“Therefore, we would like people to understand about the difficulty of the situation,” he said.
The opposition was bent on destroying Hun Sen’s family, “especially Hun Sen’s wife” Bun Rany, the prime minister said, before defiantly declaring that only the CPP had enough resources to pump water to parched rice fields.
“Among my family members that have now become humanitarians, husband and wife are humanitarians and my children are also humanitarians,” he said.
Bun Rany is head of the Cambodian Red Cross, which last month received more than $14 million in donations from CPP members and businessmen.
The July 28 election would interfere with another government initiative, the national land-titling scheme, which Hun Sen said would halt on June 20 but pledged would be back in full swing after the ballot.
Opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party spokesman Yim Sovann repeated his challenge to the premier to actually debate his party instead of always talking down to them from his soap box.
“It is just a strategy of Hun Sen to distort the truth, divide and destroy, but he can say whatever he wants to say,” Sovann said. “Hun Sen must dare to debate on television, not just speak out alone to play the game of distorting the truth,” he said.
Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said the premier’s assertion that his family’s humanitarian institutions would be prevented from helping those affected by disasters during the election campaign was a little disingenuous.