Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen predicts hasty demise of new opposition alliance

Hun Sen predicts hasty demise of new opposition alliance

Hun Sen predicts hasty demise of new opposition alliance

PM claims the current alliance between the SRP and HRP will fall apart before it is able to take a bite out of the ruling party's majority.

PRIME Minister Hun Sen has warned that the recent alliance between the Kingdom's two main opposition parties will not last, despite opposition hopes the new grouping will help reverse the current trend of dominance by the Cambodian People's Party.

"When I want [the alliance] to separate, they will be separated," Hun Sen said Tuesday during the inauguration of a Provincial Hall in Oddar Meanchey province.

"I would like to tell you that now one-third of their members have now defected to the CPP."

On Wednesday, the SRP and HRP signed an agreement to align under the banner of the Democratic Movement for Change, following a national election in which the CPP made significant gains, clinching 90 of the National Assembly's 123 seats.

"I am never scared of these mergers," Hun Sen said. "Do not say that an alliance will cause the CPP to fall."

Mu Sochua, deputy secretary general of the SRP, said that the alliance did not worry about the prime minister's threats, labelling them a "tactic".  

"It is nothing new," she said. "It is just his tactic to threaten us. Some opposition officials defected to the CPP before the election because they were scared by threats, but as democrats we are aware of the warning."

 Mu Sochua said that Hun Sen should learn from new US President Barack Obama, who made a pledge to welcome new ideas, especially from his political opponents.

"We want our country to be peaceful," she said. "But how can it, when the prime minister always uses words to destroy people like this?"

Chea Vannath, an independent political analyst, said that the collaboration between the SRP and HRP will likely be short-lived, irrespective of the prime minister's rhetoric, since previous cases of political alliances showed that they were rarely enduring.

 "The SRP and HRP still need to learn to work together and learn from each other," she said. "Despite the intervention, the merger will not be around for long." 

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