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Hun Sen trades barbs with SRP over length of tenure

Hun Sen trades barbs with SRP over length of tenure

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090428_03.jpg

Chides the opposition for its long support of their party leader and says a winning team does not change its roster.

Photo by:

HENG CHIVOAN

Hun Sen speaking at a new water supply station launch Tuesday in Chroy Changvar.

PRIME Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday chastised the opposition Sam Rainsy Party  for its criticism of the ruling Cambodian People's Party for keeping the same man in power for 30 years.

The SRP was reacting to a Sunday announcement from Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith, who is also the CPP spokesman, that the party had again reaffirmed Hun Sen as its candidate for prime minister.

But Hun Sen on Tuesday pointed out that the Sam Rainsy Party leaders had also remained the same for many years.

"You guys [SRP] don't come harass me while you're also still with the same person." Hun Sen said.  

One day after a closed-door annual congress of the CPP, Hun Sen reiterated his committment to holding the premier position for as long as his party kept winning general elections.

"The football team THAT wins competitions never changes their roster," Hun Sen told about 500 people at the launch of a new supply water station in Chroy Changvar district on Tuesday.

Koul Panha, executive director of the local election monitoring NGO Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (COMFREL), said the attacks between the CPP and SRP were just business as usual and that it's unlikely new leaders will emerge soon.

"When the voters do not fully understand the political infrastructure and remain in love with personal leaders, the individual parties will not think about changing their leadership," Panha said.

Cheam Yeap, a senior CPP lawmaker, said the party believes that more than 8,000 commune councilors out of a total of 11,353 will support the CPP.

The council election campaign is to officially kick off Saturday.

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