Phnom Penh: Hun Sen rallies party

Mr Hun Sen has toured garment factories encouaging workers to take selfies with him. He has uged the workers to back the CPP in next year’s elections. Supplied


Prime Minister Hun Sen has urged CPP leaders at all levels to work twice as hard serving the nation by swiftly implementing party policies.

He made the call in a 15-minute audio recording sent to party members following the dissolution of the CNRP last week.

“Now that the opposition has been dissolved, it does not mean that we can be careless, reckless or reduce our efforts to serve the people,” Mr Hun Sen said.

The CPP president said the party must redouble efforts to help Cambodian people benefit from reforms, adding that work to eradicate corruption must be increased.

Mr Hun Sen’s comments came amid international condemnation of the CNRP dissolution and threats of sanctions.

Speaking during visit to a factory in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district yesterday, Mr Hun Sen said he will join with workers to develop the country if they continue to support him as Prime Minister in the forthcoming election.

“I will work like this for ten more years,” he said. “I hope that all of you and your families will continue to vote for me.”

Mr  Hun Sen’s message focused on reforms to eliminate inaction and corruption, and to improve services delivery.

“The most important determining factors are not external but internal,” he said, committing himself to stand his ground while coming  under international pressure.

The audio also showed his determination to win  next year’s general  election.

After the dissolution of the CNRP and the ban on political activities of 118 CNRP leaders for five years, the international community, especially the western counties are very active in expressing their concern over Cambodian democracy and  free and fair election in 2018.


Mr Hun Sen. Supplied


Those concerns are at times being  mixed with threats of sanction to cut of aid or trade preference such as  EBA granted by the EU.

In remarks made at the bilateral meeting at the sidelines of the ASEM Ministerial meeting in Myanmar,  Federica Mogherini, the EU representative for foreign affairs and security, expressed her expectation to see the dissolution of the CNRP swiftly reversed. She also reminded  Cambodia’s  Foreign minister Prak Sokhon that the EU development cooperation and trade preferences were reliant on the respect for  human rights and democratic principles but simultaneously  encouraged Myanmar to end violence in Rakhine state and discuss further development of bilateral relations with Thailand after the successive coups and delays in election without, in the case of both countries Thailand and Myanmar,  any pressure of sanction in any kind.

These actions showed the imbalanced approach of the EU and the international community in looking at the democratic and human rights situations in different countries using different barometers.

Cambodia is being heavily criticised and  unfair demands were being forced on to the government while countries who had bigger economic interests with the EU but with far worse human rights and democracy issues were practically just given a ‘slap on the wrist’.

Facing external pressures, Mr Hun Sen is setting up a drastic policy to show the ruling party’s popularity in the 2018 election.

While he urged the leaders to adopt  a ‘close proximity policy’ with rural people, he is focusing on garment factory workers.

The Prime Minister has been campaigning to meet garments worker and visit workers at factories across the kingdom since August.

He has met them at least twice a week, mingled freely with the  workers to take pictures and selfie with him.

Over the last three months, he has announced that workers in all sectors will get free healthcare and free bus rides as well as a minimum wage hike, adding a boost to maternity leave salaries of up to 120 percent.

Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers said that the government ha done good things for the interest of workers. However he said that the government should do more and reform aggressively to attract more support from them.

“The government should do more to make working conditions better and provide more interests for workers with which  they can improve their living standards and life,” he said.

When asking about support from workers, Mr. Sina said that he could not evaluate the will of the workers, but stressed that the workers would vote for someone who helps them.

“Normally, the workers support someone who resolves their problems on time and find interest for them,” he said.

Other analysts said that this was an opportune time for the ruling party to reform and reengineer itself without any fear of internal conflict. There are positives as the CPP can embrace tangible reforms to provide better services to the people.



Courtesy: The Khmer Times | Ven Rathavong /


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