Now is not the time for change

Now is not the time for change

Dear Editor,

Although one may sympathise with the views expressed by Mr Hilleary in Wednesday’s edition of The Phnom Penh Post, I think particular care needs to be taken by those within the international community truly committed to the development of democracy in Cambodia.

Withdrawal of aid at this moment could send quite the opposite message to that intended, and any shortfall in promised financial support could almost certainly be made up by a state with a different view of the way Cambodia should be governed.

It is very doubtful if the result of the election will be overturned, and maybe more reports will be issued asserting that the whole electoral process was generally free and fair.

Such dubious blessings are nothing new. Indeed, one was recently given by the head of the Southern African Development Community observer mission after the recent election in Zimbabwe.

I know many in Harare do not share his opinion, but there is little they can do except look to the next election. It may be a long haul, but perhaps, despite the frustration, this is the way that Cambodia will need to go forward too.

It should not be forgotten that, to some extent, Cambodia was in a similar position 20 years ago. There can be no suggestion today of having two prime ministers, but there are real opportunities for the kind of power sharing which leads to the appointment of ministers from each of the main parties.

The situation is delicate, but maybe the best stance real friends of the Cambodian people can take at this time is to make no changes, or threats of changes, to the aid programs already in being.

Michael Hansen
Phnom Penh

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • Huge 3.5-tonne ivory haul seized in capital

    Working with US officials, Phnom Penh Autonomous Port has uncovered almost 3.5 tonnes of elephant ivory hidden in a container, the US Embassy in Cambodia said on Facebook on Saturday. A tip-off provided to the General Department of Customs and Excise by a US Fish and

  • Cambodia’s Miss Universe contestant to return home

    Twenty-three-year-old Rern Sinat from Kampong Cham province, only the second Miss Cambodia to compete in the Miss Universe beauty pageant, is said to be “a little disappointed but in good spirits” after not ranking in the 2018 Miss Universe contest in Bangkok, Thailand. “The weakest part

  • Assembly passes amendment to Political Party Law Article 45

    The National Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved a proposed amendment to Article 45 of the Law on Political Parties in a move that could pave the way for former senior opposition leaders banned for five years to return to the political stage. As expected, the 115 ruling