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New party gets its licks in

New party gets its licks in

The Grassroots Democratic Party yesterday chided the leaders of the ruling party and Cambodia National Rescue Party for “irresponsible” remarks over land redistribution.

In a statement, the GDP – established in July by former political analyst Kem Ley as an extension of his “Khmer for Khmer” local democracy advocacy group – reproached Prime Minister Hun Sen and CNRP president Sam Rainsy over a recent tit-for-tat between the pair regarding the treatment of tycoons in the event of opposition victory in the 2018 elections.

Last month, Hun Sen told a crowd of well-connected businessmen the CNRP, if elected, would cause “a class war” by seizing land from tycoons and handing it to the poor.

At a party conference on Friday, Rainsy dismissed this, saying the CNRP would set up an independent tribunal to assess land disputes and deal with “bad” magnates who had dispossessed villagers.

Though not naming the pair, the GDP said the two “senior politicians” should not intimidate people.

Any seizing of private land would run counter to democracy and the free market, while talk of war was purely “irresponsible”, the statement said.

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