Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM slams ‘foolish’ Europe trip remark

PM slams ‘foolish’ Europe trip remark

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as they arrive for an Asia Europe Meeting at the European Council in Brussels on October 18, as Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and the Sultan of Brunei, Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, look on. AFP

PM slams ‘foolish’ Europe trip remark

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday took issue with a prominent political analyst, calling him a “fool” for his critical comment on the outcome of the prime minister’s one-week trip to Europe and Turkey last month.

He also dubbed the court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) a “bitter loser” for its failure in appealing for a nationwide boycott of the July 29 national elections.

During an interview with The Post on October 25, political analyst Meas Nee disputed Hun Sen’s claims that his official trip to Europe was a success.

He said Hun Sen’s remarks were meant to gain political advantage following a national election deemed by some Western countries as neither free nor fair without the outlawed CNRP’s participation.

Speaking to more than 6,700 workers in Kandal province’s Mok Kampoul district on Wednesday, Hun Sen hit back.

“There was a commentator who said Hun Sen’s trips abroad did not achieve anything. Look, I went there and obtained scholarships for Cambodian students. I went there and achieved international support ranging from political and economic cooperation to national defence and security."

“I think your analysis is foolish. Go on with your analysis but I don’t want Khmer people to be fooled by you so don’t deceive them,” he said.

The prime minister went on to boast of an all-time high voter turnout of 83 per cent among registered voters.

He said a high turnout among garment workers – long regarded as a strong opposition support base – was conclusive proof of the CNRP’s defeat.

“Participation in an election is a show of support for democracy. Their appeal for an election boycott turned out to be a bitter failure and even led to them fleeing the country,” he said.

Hun Sen also boasted of a relatively higher voter turnout compared to other countries. “Voter turnout here is higher than in other countries, including some developed ones.”

Former CNRP lawmaker Ou Chanrath dismissed Hun Sen’s claims. He said the high voter turnout of 83 per cent was unrealistic as the National Election Committee, which was made up of senior CNRP officials prior to the Supreme Court’s dissolution of the party, now lacked independence.

“The NEC was no longer trusted by the people after the CNRP was disbanded. So how could it be a free and fair election? [Hun Sen] claimed the high turnout was a success, but I don’t see it as one,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • First Cambodian woman graduates from Japan’s NDA military academy

    A few years ago, Meach Sithyka Jessica became the first-ever Cambodian woman to graduate from the US Military Academy at West Point, and since then her courage and determination has served as an inspiration for other Cambodian women. Similarly, Ly Chansocheata became the first Cambodian

  • Construction begins on $1.5B Kampot seaport

    The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre, principally invested by Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and projected to cost $1.5 billion, has officially broken ground in Bokor town, Kampot province. The multi-purpose logistics and port centre, located in Prek Tnaot commune, will be built on

  • Cambodia eyes key role in electronics, auto hubs in SEA

    Two roadmaps, part of the LDC’s economic diversification plan, were designed to see it through its migration process, but experts say the journey might be arduous, particularly in the presence of two established hubs in the region By 2028, Cambodia hopes to have exited the

  • Hun Neng, lawmaker and PM’s brother, passes away aged 72

    Hun Neng, chairman of the 4th Commission of the National Assembly, has passed away from heart disease at the age of 72 on the afternoon of May 5, according to the Ministry of Information. Hun Neng is the older brother of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and was

  • 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 meets with US business giants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with a number of major US companies who have expressed interest in investing in Cambodia, in a meeting convened by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC). A delegation of companies – including Amazon, Meta, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ford, Visa and Pernod