Paris Peace Accords 23 Oct. 1991

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Cambodia's largest opposition party on the brink of dissolution

The CNRP has put up signs across Cambodia calling for the immediate release of its leader, Kem Sokha. (Phnom Penh)

Cambodia's largest opposition party on the brink of dissolution

Hun Sen, alarmed by election defeats, cracks down on criticism of government
Nikkei Asian Review | 6 October 2017
HANOI -- Hun Sen, the prime minister of Cambodia and president of the ruling Cambodian People's Party, is turning up the heat on the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party.
On Monday, he spoke at the opening of a hotel in Siem Reap, a northwestern province of Cambodia, famous for the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex, and lashed out at the CNRP. "We have arrested a man in a treasonous act," he said. "We will continue whatever process is necessary because this has been systematic arrangement and collusion."
The "man" he referred to is Kem Sokha, president of the CNRP, who was arrested in early September on charges of treason. On that day, Hun Sen also directed his anger at CNRP Deputy President Mu Sochua and other senior CNRP officials who called for the release of Kem Sokha, in speeches on Sunday at three locations in the country including Kompong Thom, central Cambodia. Hun Sen said, "I want to clarify that it will not end with the arrest [of Kem Sokha]. We will not allow anyone to commit treason, or destroy our country and security," implying that he is preparing to arrest other senior officials of the CNRP. Mu Sochua and others left the country the following day.
On Wednesday, Mu Sochua spoke to the Nikkei Asian Review at an undisclosed location in Southeast Asia outside Cambodia. "He is going against the will of the Cambodia people," she said. Hun Sen, who has been the country's leader since 1985, has made public his intention to continue to serve as prime minister for the next 10 years.
Facing dissolution
Now the CNRP is facing dissolution. The trial of Kem Sokha, its arrested leader, will soon start in earnest. If he is found guilty, the CNRP will be forced to disband under the revised political party law, which took effect in February. A newly added provision requires a political party to be dissolved if its chief is indicted and found guilty. "This regulatory revision seems to be aimed at destroying the CNRP," said one Cambodian journalist.
Cambodia's general election is set for 2018, and will include the lower house, which has the power to approve the cabinet. The election is having a huge impact on politics in Cambodia. In the previous general election in 2013, the CNRP made great strides, and now has 55 of the 123 seats in the lower house, compared with 68 seats held by the CPP. Hun Sen's almost 32-year rule as the head of the country has led to corruption and nepotism, and the CNRP is considered political salvation for frustrated voters.
If the CNRP disappears before the election and there is no other party for unhappy voters to choose, this would be a huge advantage for the ruling party.
Why now?
The biggest reason for Hun Sen's aggressive actions against the main opposition is that commune elections in June 2017 revealed a decline in the power of the ruling party. The CNRP won 30% of the country's 1,646 communes, 12 times its total in the previous local elections in 2012. In addition to major cities including the nation's capital Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, the CPP also lost in Kampong Cham, Hun Sen's home province and political base. The view that the ruling party will likely continue to struggle in the 2018 general election is gaining ground, given that voters rebelled against the "Hun Sen dynasty," which once seemed impregnable.

Hun Sen has no plans to give up the prime minister position anytime soon.
The Hun Sen government also appears to be clamping down on free speech. The English-language newspaper Cambodia Daily, which had been at the forefront of criticism of the ruling party, ceased publishing after its Sept. 4 edition. The tax authorities had discovered a shortfall in tax payments and ordered the newspaper to pay a hefty penalty of $6.3 million, and it had no choice but to close. A U.S. group had invested in the paper.
The CNRP does not have many defenses against the government's attacks. In late September, the party asked for the release of Kem Sokha, but the appeal court in Phnom Penh denied the request. After that, Mu Sochua and other CNRP officials continued to campaign all over the country, reminding people to register to vote in the general election, and to choose the CNRP. But now that many senior party officials have fled the country, rallying public support has become difficult.
The party put up panels and banners across the country to stimulate public demands for the release of Kem Sokha, but some of them were torn down.
The U.S. and European Union criticized Kem Sokha's arrest shortly after it happened. But Hun Sen seems not to care about it because he has a strong backer -- China. The Chinese government has offered huge financial support to Cambodia, and Chinese companies are investing in the country. Even if economic sanctions are imposed on Cambodia due to human rights violations, the Hun Sen government seems to think the country will not be affected.
Valuable ally
Cambodia is a valuable ally for China, as it often takes China's side on the issue of territorial rights in the South China Sea in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. In recent ASEAN meetings, member countries have often failed to adopt a joint statement to criticize China, thanks to Cambodian opposition.
On Wednesday, the Cambodian Youth Party, an opposition group that has no seat in the lower house, submitted to the Interior Ministry a petition for the dissolution of the CNRP, citing the fact that leader was arrested on treason charges. Other opposition parties also fear attacks from the Hun Sen government. Cambodia's general election is fast approaching, while the dominance of the ruling party is increasing.


  1. Anonymous1:12 AM

    I wonder where are all of the CNRP, domocrazy and nazism supporters now!? Where are you all? Did you all fled along with your Rainman? Bunthoeun, Kimea, Khmer Yeung, 99yearsold woman... those are the few name I remembered around here who 'proved' to be staunch supporters of CNRP and determined anti Vietnamese 'heroes'. Where are you all now? Where are all the 'fighting' you kept screaming years after years?

    1. Anonymous1:16 AM

      Hey Minh Nguyen, you just dont't get it, do [meah] you? Lol!!!

    2. Anonymous1:31 AM

      Don't forget there has been a 'new' 92 year-old woman on other Khmer forum too. Rumor was, she is still a virgin or at least she thinks she is. LOL.

    3. Anonymous1:57 PM

      Anonymous1:12 AM and Anonymous1:31 AM are very stupid Vietnamese dog eating posters who think that the Vietnamese folks, Hun Sen's bosses in Hanoi and Vietnamese dog eating dreamers can steal and rob whatever they want from innocent Cambodian or Khmer people (who are the original land or territory owners) and those Vietnamese folks and killers in Hanoi have no shame and are very disgusted human animals if they still dream of getting the Cambodia's territory as a whole. They killed millions of innocent Khmer people by doing the dirty and deadly games and then they open their stinky mouths to accuse and blame Cambodian/Khmer people to go to China for helps. They don't even know their Vietnamese/Yuon secret agents hiding Khmer Rouges uniforms in the Killing Fields (1975-1979) in order to fool the International Community that China was behind Cambodia's Killing Fields and Pol Pot's only. They don't think that their evil Ghost Ho Chi Minh was the one who initially started the form the Communist Indochina by using the first Vietnamese secret agent Song Ngoc Minh (as Mr. Sam Rainsy's established before), a father of CPP in Cambodia.

      Vietnamese posters are still very stupid and don't know about their ugly history that created so many problems on earth. They always blame innocent Cambodian people and victims because of China when it comes to their Vietnamese bastard Ho Chi Min who was the worst one created the problems to the region.

      We know that Vietnamese dog eater named Drgunzet and others stupid Vietnamese posters, friends of Hun Sen, and land thieves are dreaming of the failure of Cambodian people (CNRP supporters and non-CNRP supporters) and Cambodia as a whole.

      We see that how dangerous the Vietnamese dog eating folks like the posters above and Hun Sen's deadly Vietnamese masters in Hanoi have strong intention to swallow Cambodia's terrible. Laos is in the deadly and dangerous control of Vietcong now. They also play the fool of the the world that they blame Laos going to China. Laos has so many secret Vietnamese agents in Laos Government ( big numbers) that Laotian people are stuck and can not escape from the evil Vietnamese's deadly and bloody hands in the blind eyes of the International Community.

      One day, the world will expose the killers in Hanoi and deadly and barbaric Vietnamese folks who are very stubborn with the numb heads just like crocodiles who did not let things go because they are so hungry. They are very over populated and landless folks.

    4. Anonymous11:40 PM

      Anonymous1:57 PM There you are. One of the biggest fault of your is keep blabbing about your 'enemies' (namely Hun Sen or Vietnamese people) as 'very stupid' however what happened clearly showed the opposite.

      Your other big fault is: rally on the other instead of yourself.

      Yet above all your biggest fault is screaming big and did literally nothing

  2. Anonymous1:58 AM

    "But Hun Sen seems not to care about it because he has a strong backer -- China. The Chinese government has offered huge financial support to Cambodia, and Chinese companies are investing in the country. Even if economic sanctions are imposed on Cambodia due to human rights violations, the Hun Sen government seems to think the country will not be affected."

    Stupid CNRP has been singing the anti-Vietnam for so long, in order for any meaningful opposition to succeed, CNRP must go and make room for new opposition parties to sing a new song, anti-China.

    And don't forget, CNRP had been openly court China's support by announcing support for China's claim in the South China sea. CNRP also openly denounced USA's aggression against China over the Freedom of Navigation Act. This is the main reason CNRP must be dissolved.

  3. Anonymous1:32 PM

    Anonymous1:58 AM,

    Your post is not making any sense. Please deeper before you post. You are still blind. You let yourself to be trapped on both dangerous enemies, China and Vietnam. Please think and think.