Paris Peace Accords 23 Oct. 1991

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Opposition, Ruling CPP Warn of Dire Election Consequences

Opposition, Ruling CPP Warn of Dire Election Consequences

Cambodia Daily | 24 May 2017

Making the wrong choice in the upcoming commune election will invite poverty, suffering and fear, CNRP President Kem Sokha warned yesterday, as ruling party officials continued to describe a vote for the opposition as a vote for war and social unrest.

On the campaign trail ahead of the June 4 vote, Mr. Sokha told hundreds of supporters in Kompong Chhnang province that the stakes for the election were high.
CNRP President Kem Sokha addresses supporters at a rally in Phnom Penh on Saturday morning. (Ben Paviour/The Cambodia Daily)
“Brothers, sisters and countrymen, please know that the election of leaders in the communes is very important,” Mr. Kem Sokha said via loudspeakers from the back of a truck. “If brothers and sisters elect vicious leaders, you will get suffering. If brothers and sisters elect corrupt leaders, you will get poverty. If brothers and sisters elect threatening or intimidating leaders, you will get fear.”

The CNRP, on the other hand, developed policy from the grassroots and will “eliminate corruption from the top to the bottom,” he pledged.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan, however, said voters knew better than to be fooled by Mr. Sokha, whom he called “undemocratic.”

“It won’t affect anything because people—they know what democracy is, who democratic people are,” he said. “They will vote for politicians who have achievements and qualifications to serve the national interest.”

The ruling party has employed similar tactics. In the weeks leading up to the campaign period on Saturday, Prime Minister Hun Sen repeatedly claimed that casting a vote for the opposition would encourage social upheaval and even civil war.

The warnings are a regular theme for Mr. Hun Sen, even outside of election season, and have been taken up with zeal by ruling party officials, with Defense Minister Tea Banh threatening last week to smash the teeth of anyone who dared demonstrate against election results.

Saturday’s start to the election campaign has led to a fresh batch of similar talk from other party members.

National Assembly spokesman Chheang Vun yesterday delivered a slideshow on the 12 phases of revolution; Keo Remy, head of the government’s Cambodian Human Rights Committee, cautioned against following the example set by Middle Eastern revolutionaries in a speech yesterday; and Heng Ratana, director of the government’s Cambodian Mine Action Center, took to Facebook on Monday to post photographs of a black- and krama-clad opposition supporter, claiming that the man “actively promoted the Khmer Rouge’s​ genocide ideologies among Cambodian poor!”

Mr. Eysan denied that the ruling party was trying to scare voters.

“It’s not a threat,” he said. “It’s just an example.”

CNRP Vice President Mu Sochua also denied that Mr. Sokha’s speech was designed to instill fear.

“There’s no threat at all,” she said, adding that Mr. Sokha was simply drawing attention to facts on the ground.

Political analyst Meas Nee said the CNRP was likely trying to find a way to counter the CPP’s fiery language without running afoul of election laws prohibiting insults.

“They cannot say anything against Hun Sen like in previous elections,” he said.

In spite of the CPP’s heated tone, Mr Nee said the ruling party had yet to use the more overt shows of force such as tank or soldier movements through Phnom Penh that it had done for past elections.

“I have also observed that this election campaign seems to be carried out peacefully,” he said.


  1. Anonymous5:02 PM

    Please don't ruin something! We need to get out of illegally Vietnamese-installed CPP (Cambodian People Party) led my Yuon/Vietnamese puppet Hun Sen. Please, Theory Seng and Khmer Democrat members should stay united with CNRP and leave Mr. Kem Sokha alone. You will criticize him later after CNRP win the election. Don't be gullible and naive.
    Khmer Yeurng

    1. Anonymous8:06 AM

      CPP won the election in 2013 and was recognized/congratulated by China. You dared to challenge China? You will be crushed for your insolence.

  2. Anonymous1:39 AM

    5:02 PM

    We agree.

  3. Anonymous3:21 AM

    Theory Seng is getting out of control. Her hatred towards Sokha is very strong. She's been bitching a lot about Kem Sohha and his wooden big chair. That's rather childish. What goes on between his ass and his chair is his business. Why make a big deal out of it. If this continues, she will do more harm than good for the CNRP. Queen Theory Seng, enough is enough. Please stop the nonsense.

    1. Anonymous9:07 AM

      3:21 AM

      You did a good job. You really gave it to this Queen !!!

      Hey Qeenee Theary Seng, why didn't you get it ?
      Do your Kem Sokha bashing AFTER, not before
      the elections.

    2. Anonymous8:09 AM

      You are stupid and have no respect for anyone. Ms. Theary Seng is talented, non-corrupt, highly-educated with high credential and highly-respect as well as beautiful. And you address her like that?

      And who are you? Do you have any credential or any talent we should know about or just your cheap loud mouth behind the anonymous internet?

  4. Anonymous5:24 AM

    8:09 AM
    Yuon Troll Gunzet

    1. We love Ms. Theary Seng, but when she acts up we have to abvise her.
    2. There are plenty of Khmers whose education and intellect are equal or higher
    than Ms. Seng. Some Khmers attended Georgetown University way before
    her. I was the one among other students and faculty who threw eggs at
    Mrs. Nguen Digh Vu when she visited Georgetown in 1963.
    3. You just added one more reason why we Khmers hate you Yuon.
    You love to wedge Khmer solidarity. Unlike your Yuon communists
    we Khmers enjoy our freedom, i.e. freedom of speech.