Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CPP commune chiefs join fray against slogan



CPP commune chiefs join fray against slogan

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Opposition leader Kem Sokha speaks at an extraordinary party congress to confirm new party leadership last week at the Party headquarters in Phnom Penh Pha Lina

CPP commune chiefs join fray against slogan

Some two dozen ruling party commune chiefs have released statements condemning the opposition party’s new campaign slogan, saying it belittled their “heroic efforts” to serve their communities.

The Cambodia National Rescue Party’s catchphrase, which calls on voters to replace commune chiefs who “serve the party” with those who “serve the people”, has riled the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, which has threatened legal action for “incitement”.

As of yesterday afternoon, pro-government outlet Fresh News had released letters by 24 CPP commune chiefs slamming the slogan, which CNRP officials say they have no plans to change.

Ruling party spokesman Sok Eysan claimed the effort by local officials was a grassroots phenomenon, though their four-point statements were nearly identical but for the section where the chiefs describe their achievements, which range from buildings roads and schools to signing “more than one thousand family books”.

“The statement saying the commune council serves the party seriously looks down on the heroic effort of commune chiefs to serve the people,” each letter reads before repeating the words “incites” and “causes division in society”.

A local official since 1979, Mao Sophon, chief of Kraing Pongro commune in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, said he released the statement of his own volition and had encouraged his local CPP counterparts to follow suit.

“We work at the commune hall, not at the party. This looks down on the people so much.”

Also touchy about the catchphrase, Yeav Lay, Kampong Samnanh commune chief in Kandal’s Takhmao town, demanded it be changed. “I build roads for the people and sometimes spent my own money.”

Meanwhile yesterday, the CPP governor of Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district, Ek Khun Doeun, said the party was considering a request from Boeung Kak I deputy commune chief Ly Sokun to join their party, after quitting the opposition Sam Rainsy Party this week.

Sokun, imprisoned in February for alleged forgery related to giving an election observer the wrong identification card, complained about the commune candidate selection process in explaining his resignation.

But Meng Sopheary, a lawyer appointed by the CNRP to defend Sokun, said the decision appeared to be a bid for freedom. “He told me that his son was trying to get help to get him out of jail,” she said.

The son of another opposition commune chief from Poipet, Chao Veasna, who was also imprisoned last month over a 2015 protest, said his father had been approached with an offer.

“He told me that someone came to persuade him to leave the party,” Soeng Sophoen said. “[They said] that he can leave the prison whenever he wants, but he held his position.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration