Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen presses local officials to ‘facilitate’ the poll process

Hun Sen presses local officials to ‘facilitate’ the poll process

Prime Minister Hun Sen, in a speech on Monday, ordered officials to ‘facilitate’ the campaign process for all political parties. Facebook
Prime Minister Hun Sen, in a speech on Monday, ordered officials to ‘facilitate’ the campaign process for all political parties. Facebook

Hun Sen presses local officials to ‘facilitate’ the poll process

Prime Minister Hun Sen, in a speech on Monday, ordered officials to “facilitate” the campaign process for all political parties, including the opposition, a seeming about-face, as they had recently reported being hindered and harassed.

Speaking at a construction site at National Road 3, the premier said local officials must cultivate a “good environment” in advance of the July 29 national elections.

“I give the order because the CPP is one thing, but as prime minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, I need to take responsibility for all involved institutions and all levels of authorities,” he said.

“The installation of party billboards before the election campaign or gathering thumb prints has to be facilitated,” he continued.

In November, the only viable opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, was dissolved on widely criticised accusations of attempting to foment revolution. Observers have claimed that Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party now rules an essentially one-party state.

The Grassroots Democracy Party, a small opposition party competing in this year’s election, has frequently reported billboards being denied or taken down.

Sam Inn, GDP secretary-general, said his party has been waiting for a long time for such a statement.

“In short, we welcome the appeal made by the Prime Minister Hun Sen . . . but we are not happy that the order was just made at this time,” he said.

Inn said it is Hun Sen’s duty to ensure the election is fair and transparent.

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay described the premier’s comments as a “last ditch effort to enhance pluralism” and enhance the credibility of the election, which outside observers have declared as neither free nor fair.

The premier seemingly also lashed out at former CNRP president Sam Rainsy, who has called for a boycott of the election, and for the United Nations to revoke Cambodia’s seat if Hun Sen continues to rule with an iron fist.

“Some consider that if their party cannot compete in the election, the international community will not recognise it,” Hun Sen said.

He said the CNRP has only “one or two” countries supporting it, despite the fact that 46 countries condemned the recent political crackdown.

“Don’t forget that many countries support the current government and continue working with the current government,” he said, mentioning China and Russia by name.

Hun Sen said the opposition cherry picks the meaning of the “international community”, only including countries that oppose the government.

“What does the international community refer to? And which country is it referring to?” he asked.

“The seat belongs to Cambodia, it is not your seat,” he added.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused