Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen is presented with the flag of the Cambodian People’s Party at the launch of their campaign for the July 29 national elections. facebook

PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

Delivering a campaign speech from his home via Facebook Live on Thursday, caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had carried the country through danger in its latest mandate.

He was specifically referring to the threat of a “colour revolution” from the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).

A former CNRP lawmaker responded to Hun Sen’s comments, saying that the court-ordered dissolution would only work against the CPP.

The speech came on the sixth day of campaigning before voters head to the polls on July 29 and vote for one of 20 competing parties.

The CNRP, the CPP’s long-standing rival, will not be on the ballot after it was dissolved by the Supreme Court last year. Some of its members have also been banned from political activity for five years.

The party’s president, Kem Sokha, is under pretrial detention at Trapaing Phlong Prison, located near the Vietnam border after being charged with treason for allegedly conspiring with the US to overthrow the Cambodian government.

“In its fifth mandate, the Cambodian government, led by the CPP, with me as prime minister led the country past many dangerous situations to maintain peace, stability, security, and social order, and prevent the colour revolution from inside and outside the country,” he said.

Touching on other issues, Hun Sen said his party has added peace and political stability, provided favourable conditions for socio-economic development to accomplish remarkable achievements.

He highlighted the addition of roads, bridges, irrigation systems, clean water, wells and power grids as among them.

“Democracy, freedom, obedience to the law is improving,” he said and called once more for people to vote for the CPP, stressing that it has the “correct” policies.

Former CNRP lawmaker Ou Chanrath fired back that preventing a colour revolution is not an advantage but a drawback, as the government’s actions have caused an international backlash.

“Even though [Hun Sen] thinks the destruction of the opposition party is an advantage. I think it is not a benefit, but a disadvantage. It has brought much harm to the ruling party, and also people across the country,” he said.

He stressed that the dissolution of an opposition party was considered by Cambodians and the international community as a human rights violation.

“After the government eliminated the biggest opposition party in the country, there is strong pressure from the international community, which believes there is no colour revolution like [the prime minister] said.

“It is not an attempt to overthrow the government or bring about instability in the country. It was purely about democracy,” he said.

Political analyst Meas Nee believes Hun Sen’s explanation of the colour revolution and dissolution of the opposition is a strategy to prevent hatred from millions of people who previously supported the CNRP.

He noted that the prime minister spent more time meeting workers and joining campaign events than in past elections. “What is different from before and why is he trying so hard? It may be that he is worried.

“Previously, he used to say he does not have to campaign himself, but only send party members to do so, and the CPP will still win. This time he campaigns himself,” Nee said.

He said even though the opposition party is already dissolved, its structure still concerns Hun Sen, especially the fact that its members are urging a vote boycott.

“With the absence of the CNRP, many people will not go to vote. That means a show of support for the CNRP. The soul of the CNRP is haunting and making him angry,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the