Cambodian People Party (CPP) president Hun Sen on Tuesday promised that his new government would serve the people by doing “double work” for Cambodia’s development.
Meanwhile, Cambodia National Rescue Movement (CNRM) president Sam Rainsy hinted at accepting the caretaker prime minister’s challenge to swear on his life over claims that the voter turnout figures from the July 29 national elections were inflated.
On Monday, Hun Sen asked Rainsy to put his life on the line over accusations that numbers were forged and that voters had been intimidated.
Responding the same day, Rainsy said he would take such an oath, demanding that the ballots are recounted and independent international experts are recruited to conduct a survey.
Hitting back at his comments, Hun Sen told Fresh News that there was no need for a survey. “Don’t provide me with reasons why [you] need a scientific survey.
“Can you respond whether or not you dare to take an oath staking your wife’s life, your children’s lives, your grandchildren’s lives, your great-grandchildren’s lives and at least the lives of your 100 allies?” Hun Sen asked.
“Because we both have used scientific methods against each other for 20 years already. Now it’s time for the dark path. Whether or not you dare to swear is up to you because I have already sworn. Let the holy objects deliver my oath to you,” he said.
“I ask all Cambodians to witness and wait to see whether Sam Rainsy dares take an oath or not. If he dares not take an oath, he is a coward, a traitor, and he is afraid to die like his father – passed away abroad,” Hun Sen said.
On Tuesday, Hun Sen also posted on Facebook that once a new government is created, it would do “double work” as a tribute to the people who voted for the CPP.
“The new government will be created after the NEC officially declares the election results. The 6th mandate, which will be led by me, will do double work as a tribute to the supporters among the Cambodian people and for Cambodia’s development and prosperity for everybody,” he said.
Rainsy, who lives in France to avoid several criminal charges filed against him, did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.
Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) executive director Chak Sopheap asked if making such an oath was in line with getting justice.
She alluded in a Facebook post to an oath she made after being summonsed as a witness in the treason case against former CNRP president Khem Sokha.
“When I was summonsed by the court as a witness two months ago, the court asked me to take an oath before legal procedures took place, and the words of the oath were filled with gloom and dire statements. Does justice depend on an oath?” she asked.
CPP spokesman Suos Yara said the demands of Rainsy came “too late” and were not worth considering. He said because Rainsy had convictions against him, and held dual citizenship, he had lost his worth.
“If he was powerful, why did nearly 83 per cent of people go to cast their ballots?” he asked.
Political analyst Lao Mong Hay, however, chided Hun Sen for continuing political grudge matches despite winning the election.
“Why should a newly re-elected prime minister waste his time and energy to do the impossible? He should entirely devote himself to carrying out the mandate he easily won from the people."
“The people have actually given him the right to run the country on their behalf and for their benefit, not to squabble with Sam Rainsy whom he has called a convict,” Mong Hay stressed.