Not having Prime Minister Hun Sen’s army of student “volunteers” measuring land after July’s election would not prevent a victorious Cambodian National Rescue Party from issuing land titles to the remainder of eligible Cambodians, a CNRP spokesman said yesterday.
The prime minister threatened on Friday that a CPP election loss on July 28 would put an end to thousands of youths measuring land across the country – and jeopardise the titling project as a whole.
But the CNRP’s Yim Sovann told the Post that his party had no intention of using the students if it won the election anyway.
“The students must focus on their future,” he said.
Instead, Sovann said, the CNRP would better fund the Ministry of Land Management, so that measuring and title handouts could be completed, and repair the Kingdom’s ties with the World Bank.
“Right now, the Ministry of Land Management and its [provincial] offices do not have enough money to do their jobs,” he said. “What we have to do is increase the budget for the land ministry and co-operate with the World Bank to get loans at the cheapest rate and issue land titles for free all over the country, not just where there is no dispute.”
The students, the first of whom were deployed last June, reportedly receive $220 per month and have issued more than 125,000 titles to villagers in undisputed areas.
Speaking Friday, Hun Sen said they would be recalled on June 20. “All the volunteer youths will not be able to return unless the CPP wins the election,” he said. “If voters want them to, they have to vote for the CPP.”
The comments came as Hun Sen responded to claims by opposition leader Sam Rainsy that if the CNRP took office, it would prosecute members of the current government involved in Khmer Rouge-era “killings”.
“He has not come to power yet, but he dares to use [such] insolent remarks,” Hun Sen said. “History will be repeating . . . an internal war will definitely happen if [Rainsy] wins the election, because no one will let the other arrest them easily.”