Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kem Sokha affirms CNRP dedication to dialogue

Kem Sokha affirms CNRP dedication to dialogue

Kem Sokha, deputy leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, addresses party supporters yesterday in Prey Veng province.
Kem Sokha, deputy leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, addresses party supporters yesterday in Prey Veng province. Photo supplied

Kem Sokha affirms CNRP dedication to dialogue

Deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha began the new year with a resumption of his countryside campaigning in which he pledged to decentralise the Cambodia National Rescue Party leadership, and expressed commitment to the “culture of dialogue” with the ruling party.

In a meeting yesterday with supporters in Prey Veng province, Sokha said that CNRP members must not rely on marching orders from the party’s top brass, but on activists and leaders at the grassroots level.

“It is not the president Sam Rainsy, the deputy president Kem Sokha, committee presidents or lawmakers who . . . come to tell brothers and sisters to do this, or do that. All leaders must do what the grassroots demand them to do. This is the power of the decentralisation of the CNRP,” he said.

“The government [of the CNRP] is a government that serves citizens. It is not a government that controls and completely mistreats citizens.”

Sokha postponed his usual public forums with voters following political tensions at the end of last year that saw him removed as deputy president of the National Assembly and Sam Rainsy commence another round of self-imposed exile to avoid outstanding warrants for his arrest.

The events, along with the beating of two opposition lawmakers in front of parliament in October, saw critics quick to herald the death of the so-called “culture of dialogue”, the shaky detente between the parties that began with the end of the opposition’s boycott of parliament in July 2014.

However, Sokha yesterday touted the culture of dialogue between the CNRP and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, although he acknowledged it needed to be conducted without fear or intimidation from either side.

“Then we sit down and talk to seek a joint vision to lead the country and serve citizens,” he said.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said yesterday after the annual CPP congress that Sokha’s points were parallel to those raised at the congress.

“The position of the CPP to still be open to the culture of dialogue is the same. During the congress we also had a detailed discussion about the problem of strengthening the culture of dialogue, according to the spirit of the political agreement.”

Eysan added that both parties were planning a joint meeting about the culture of dialogue soon, although he did not confirm any specifics.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • EU ambassador to Cambodia: Rights a ‘work in progress’

    The EU ambassador to Cambodia has called human rights “a work in progress” and said the 28-nation bloc has “carefully” noted last week’s statement by the government on taking further steps to strengthen democracy and the political sphere in the Kingdom. The EU marked