Several politicians doubt FUNCINPEC and the Sam Rainsy party (SRP) will ever win
elections after having relatively gauged what will be their credibility with the
public. The sudden collapse of the "Alliance of democrats" depicted a political
campaign that has cast disagreement among the self-proclaimed democrats in terms
of tactical errors since the introduction of a liberal democracy system in
Cambodia. The new political way the two parties have just chosen had been
blocked by this collapse that was the cause of their return to the original
state of being at loggerheads with each other. They will likely conclude neither
an electoral pact nor a political collaborative venture between them.
Facing the fact that they cannot afford to solve growing internal
problems, they are proceeding with reforms that are not yet clear. Nobody knows
whether the parties' elites are behind this exciting prospect of reform.
FUNCINPEC started implementing reform by decreasing the number of its
deputy-secretary generals from more than twenty to six, and changing officials
in the provinces - even though nothing worthy of comment happened regarding the
new nomination to the above positions. Meanwhile, an interesting piece of news
over a schedule to replace the SRP secretary general, and its steps toward
reform, has mesmerized its members and local media.
Supporters of the
ruling party were gossiping about those initiatives by classifying them as
nonsense. For instance, they usually said that: "No one from those parties can
grasp to do such a reform because they are not strong, smart and wealthy enough
to do politics."
Practically, reform includes change, but change does not
imply strictly reform. Each reform should be stirred up to action by prevailing
"voluntarism" that is usually subject of the elite's business, and has nothing
to do with the routine. The party's leaders will have to face a tense agenda and
lead an effort to define and maintain the party's reforming system that reflects
the new, revolutionary circumstances adequately to democracy.
matter of fact, reform is planned for wining the next elections, if not other
purposes. It is not limited to dealing with removing the party's officials and
interchanging their posts and responsibilities. When shaping a series of actions
or operations to perform the reform, a team, consisting of selective members
with pluralistic features, in the know on effective functioning system of
political party to advise on Cambodia's political evolution, would be properly
created to be responsible for leading this heavy work. This team will have to
study both on amending the party's statutes, and working out regulations and
rules to ban personal and institutional dominance in order to improve the
party's efficiency to gain strong and honest support nation wide. But, it is
very petty of the party to hatch a plan of reform for self-interest. This is
Reform is also expected to bring about new substantial
and pragmatic knowledge of open-mindedness and transparency that helps people
understand the values and issues related to politicians and parties. Should this
mind transcend other partiesÇ limited advantage.
By keeping a real
perspective on election victory, political parties should be open to sincere and
exhaustive debate between change and reform, as well as the subject of
"voluntarism" that manages them to acquire remarkable ability to get things
Reform is absolutely imperative, and change is the name of the game
for a modern Cambodia.
Phi Thach is currently a member of FUNCINPEC.
He defected from the Sam Raisy Party in August.