Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Election chic on the campaign trail

Election chic on the campaign trail

Election chic on the campaign trail

election.jpg
election.jpg

Printing frenzy: Funcinpec T-shirts get the finishing touch.

Y

ou can feel it in the air-election season has begun. Loudspeakers blare out party

slogans, and campaigners traipse around the country, reminding you that polling day

is near.

But for the fashion conscious, there is another reason to hail the coming of the

campaign. A flurry of election T-shirts, caps and watches means you can ditch that

Britney Spears or Michael Owen T-shirt and don the rags of your party of choice.

Printing frenzy has gripped the city as the main contenders battle to deck out as

many party-faithful as possible. But does this guarantee a vote? Not necessarily,

says Funcinpec parliamentarian Chhim Narith.

"It is really difficult to read their minds," he says. "Sometimes

they feel honored to wear the T-shirt, [but] people in the provinces will take anything

you give them. Inside your heart, you do not know who they will vote for."

Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) spokesman Ung Bun Ang agrees that some punters simply enjoy

a bit of cost-free fashion.

"A lot of our supporters are very poor and will appreciate the T-shirts,"

he says. "The majority would wear them because they support the SRP. The others

because it is a T-shirt and will cover them."

So if loyalty is not the main focus, why not color-coordinate or mix and match? How

about the royal look? Team up the canary-yellow T-shirt of the Norodom Chakrapong

Proloeung Khmer Party, emblazoned with the image of Prince Chakrapong himself, and

combine with a Funcinpec baseball cap, which sports the fetching logo of Prince Ranariddh's

face staring out from the Independence Monument.

For that night-time stroll, you could combine the understated candle motif on the

Sam Rainsy Party's T-shirts with the decadent, diamond-studded watch of the Cambodian

People's Party (CPP). But beware-ruling party insiders tell the Post these timekeeping

gems are only given out to deserving CPP members, so wearing an opposition shirt

might preclude you from that honor.

CPP supporter Boubethel is proud of his watch, and says he feels "very handsome"

in a CPP shirt and cap. His shirt is one of 200,000 already printed.

The thrifty Chakrapong party makes all its merchandise in the party leader's office

to keep costs down, but has also managed to churn out 200,000 shirts and caps in

flamboyant yellow.

The SRP is a little behind with only 50,000 T-shirts and caps in circulation, but

Bun Ang says the shirts are stylish and in demand.

The T-shirt frenzy can be seen in the shops along the capital's Norodom Boulevard.

Outside one, staff are screen-printing hundreds of Funcinpec shirts.

"I'm very happy producing T-shirts and caps for the political parties, because

I can make more income for my family," says owner Nara. "But right now

there are also a lot of competitors."

And frankly, says Funcinpec's Chhim Narith, if you are after quality gear, you might

want to avoid election fashion altogether.

"The quality is not so good," he says of his party's generally flimsy offerings.

"It is not for the long term."

And finally, the Post asks, for the aspiring fashionista, will a Funcinpec T-shirt

impress your friends?

"If you talk about stylish and trendy, in Cambodia anything goes," he concludes.

MOST VIEWED

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four

  • Governor: Covid subsides in capital

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng said the Covid-19 situation in the capital’s 14 districts has eased, with only two districts still recording a high number of infections. “Transmission cases in all districts are dropping, though they are relatively higher Meanchey and Por Sen Chey.

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided