Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday reiterated his promise to willingly hand over power to a new leader should he lose the July 29 national elections.
However, he was quick to point out that he expects to maintain his position as there isn’t any other political party that can win.
Speaking at a gathering of about 27,400 garment workers in Kandal province, the prime minister said he would not hesitate to resign his position should his party be defeated.
The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has won every major election in the country since its defeat to Funcinpec in the 1993 polls.
“If the CPP does not win the election, I have no reason to grab the job from the future prime minister. I will end at this time, and I will not be there any longer,” Hun Sen said. “I still don’t believe there is a party that can win over the CPP or me because people still need peace and development."
"Hun Sen’s works will continue,” he said,Responding to him, Kong Monika who leads the Khmer Will Party (KWP), told The Post that he welcomes Hun Sen’s statements.
“The KWP urges all people not to worry about the issue of [the prime minister] not transferring power. Please vote for the Khmer Will Party, which is number 17 [on the ballot] with a symbol of a new sun rising to make positive changes in Cambodia,” he said.
Similarly, Yang Saing Koma, the prime ministerial candidate for the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP), welcomed the promise and hopes that Hun Sen will keep his word.
“His remarks on the advantages of CPP are not wrong because the party has political structures everywhere, resources, and has laid the foundation for a long time. The party [Cambodia National Rescue Party] that competed with it has been dissolved [by the court],” Saing Koma said.
He said he remains hopeful of his party’s prospects.
“As I have said … we will try to have GDP’s policies reaching the voters everywhere. If we can do this, I believe there is a chance of winning the election.”
However, Cambodian Youth Party (CYP) president Pich Sros believes the prime minister only made his statements because he is sure his party will be victorious.
“Even if a party gets the majority of votes, the prime minister will not transfer power by citing reasons such as to prevent war breaking out again,” Sros said.
Political analyst Lao Mong Hay claimed that any thought of the CPP losing the vote was “inconceivable”.
“Any such defeat would be ignominious not only for his party, but mainly for our prime minister himself. He is almost single-handedly organising this election."
“His party has thorough control of the electorate down to their fingertips, all parties competing in the election, and perhaps the NEC too. And there are no bona fide election monitors to ensure the electoral process is free and fair,” he said.