Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - "The winners are...": KJA perfects the art of

"The winners are...": KJA perfects the art of

"The winners are...": KJA perfects the art of

T HE Khmer Journalist Association has now finally and fully embraced all the subtleties

and nuances of "Cambodian democracy": intrigue, squabbling - and now, joint

leaders.

Angkor Thmei newspaper editor So Naro - who has done more than most in destablizing

the KJA, including actively campaigning against incumbent president Pin Samkhon -

had the honor of counting the votes in a second presidential election March 16.

Samkhon's initial 16-15 win on Jan 5 was tossed aside because Ly Chandara's Tudo

newspaper - a Samkhon supporter - had been shut down by the government.

First proclaiming that this was most definitely the last election, and "if anyone

wants to complain, complain now," Naro began pulling out the ballots that had

been cast secretly minutes before: "Tat Ly Hok," he said. "Pin Samkhon...,"

he continued.

Tension mounted as Ly Hok got to 16 votes, just one away from first-past-the-post

victory. The only other candidate, Apsarama magazine editor Kim Vimol, voted for

himself.

With one vote to read and the score Ly Hok 16, Samkhon 15, and Vimol one, Naro took

the ballot, read the name and said: "Pin Samkhon."

The place dissolved into loud cheering and laughter. Even Naro - who seemed certain

earlier that Samkhon would have been ousted - cracked a smile.

Samkhon stood up and shook hands with Ly Hok.

"What a similarity!" Samkhon exclaimed in his reference to Cambodia's existing

two-premiership.

Ly Hok said: "From now on, we will sign papers like the two Samdech Prime Ministers

[Norodom Ranariddh and Hun Sen].

"You can say these results were accidental but this is a common victory of all

journalists and the KJA," Ly Hok said.

Samkhon said "This is the best result beyond everyone's expectations. I think

that this draw is better than me winning alone. If I remained president alone, the

opposition group will continue to resist... We have found stability for the association

and for us to return to our work."

KJA's members agreed that the results allowed the association to return to normal

business.

"I want to pull the association toward true professionalism for all journalists

and I don't want to see politics involved with it," Ly Hok said.

However, Naro immediately put pressure on Samkhon and Ly Hok for him to become secretary

general.

Samkhon said the decision on whether or not to appoint Naro - the journalist whose

testimony was vital in Prince Norodom Sirivudh controversially being found guilty

of organized crime - would be made next week when Ly Hok returns from a visit to

Malaysia.

"I have difficulty with this. But I risk hoping that his [Naro] return will

help the association, though I do not know the real motivation behind it," he

said.

Other unamed sources within the KJA said that pressure to include Naro in the association

came from "outside", but he refused to elaborate for fear that it would

jeopardize efforts to stabilize the association.

Most members of the KJA are known to be frustrated by Naro's insistence on office.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Four-pillar approach in reopening of tourism: PM

    Cambodia is drawing up a four-strategy approach to promptly restore domestic and international tourism activity and put the industry on a transition pathway to a sustainable and inclusive model that is resistant to future crises, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The prime minister made

  • Airline says ready for green light to reopen international tourism

    Sky Angkor Airline Co Ltd on September 21 said it is ready to transport South Korean and Chinese tourists to the Kingdom once the Cambodian government makes good on plans to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers. The Siem Reap-based airline made the remark during a

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Cambodian bride ‘badly treated, held captive’ by Chinese man seeks help

    A Cambodian woman who travelled to China to marry a Chinese man there was “badly treated” by her husband’s family and then had to be rescued and will be returned to Cambodia to ensure her safety. The rescue operation came about after the 25-year-old