|The CPP in 1979|
|The CPP in 2013|
Cambodian People Party (CPP), the oldest political party in Cambodia, is a remnant of the Khmer People Revolutionary Communist party and the Khmer Rouge Regime. The CPP was revitalized and empowered by the Vietnamese invasion in 1979 allowing them to rule the country since then without clear political ideologies beside being faithful to Hanoi. So far, they have won the fifth election with controversial results showing no sign of any less than winning this election no matter what, for the CPP have had no clear political ideologies and the vision for the country but their personal power and wealth.
In most democratic countries the political parties have been created based on their core values, political ideologies, and what the people and the country have needed. For instances, in the US, the Republican Party is more conservative in social issues and foreign policies: less welfare, lower taxes, less government regulation, protestant faith, more military spending, and so on, and the Democrat is more liberal in social issues and foreign policies: more welfare, more spending on social programs but less on military, more government regulations on economy, higher taxes and so on. In France the Socialist Party of President Aulance has similar policies to the Obama's Administration while the Conservative Party of former President Sacozy's policies are well parallel to the Republican Party. Whereas Thailand, the Democrat is more conservative and more pro-monarchy while the ruling party, the Peu Thai or the Red Shirts is more liberal and socialist.
In Cambodia, the opposition parties seem have more clearly political ideologies than the ruling party, the CPP. The CNRP political ideologies are pro-democracy, nationalism, and liberalism, and the Forncinpec are the monarchists and somewhat of nationalists. But for the CPP, it's too hard for us to ponder for their political ideologies even it is the oldest political party in the country and has ruled the country over 34 years. Are the CPP Communists? Royalists? Capitalists? Conservatives or Liberals? Albeit they originated from Khmer Communist Party and a remnants of the Khmer Rouge Regime, but they are not pure or real communists because there are no signs of their allegiance to their Communist core values. When suitable time had come, they just quickly abandoned their ideology as if they changed their clothes. Distinctly, in most Eastern European Countries and former Soviet States even though the Communist power system had collapsed since1989, but many Communist Parties in those countries have still survived as the opposition parties in the new governments, and some of them made a comeback through democratic election such as in Poland and Belarus. inconceivably, In Cambodia ,the Communist Party had transformed themselves to the so-called Cambodian People Party overnight after the Paris Peace Accord 1991. Naturally, it can't be happened overnight if they are the real Communists but only the opportunists.
After the Paris Peace Accord, the CPP cursorily recognized and proclaimed former King Sihanouk as their Head of State, the action seen by many political analysts as their first strike to neutralize their future potential opponent. Then, they wanted to merge with the Royalist Forncinpec but unsuccessful; and after losing the first free election supervised by the UN, the CPP had manipulated with the Royalists to share the power equally on the papers, but in practices, the CPP had firmly clung to the power that led to the bloody coup against the Royalists. Although the CPP left no touch with the throne, but the backbone of the power for the monarchy had already destroyed. When the King had refused to sign the unfair border treaty with Vietnam, Hun Sen roared, "I don't have the rights to be the King, but I have the rights to create the King." When the King Father had passed away, Hun Sen apparently pretended to cry and to swear in front the King's coffin to protect and defense the monarchy,but in reality, the monarchy in Cambodia is nothing more than the legitimate shield that Hun Sen and his CPP have used to cover up their political tricks to serve their power and Hanoi's interest.
At the end of the Cold War 1991, many Westerns analysts had called Hun Sen a reformed leader among the other hardliner CPP members--Chea Sim, Heng Samrin, Say Chume and so on. The country's economy reform has put in place from planing economy to free market economy or capitalism. Privatization that had transferred numerous state ownerships to private owned properties created lucrative opportunity for the top CPP officials who had controlled those business sectors during the Communist planning economy. Many state owned properties--from factories, banks, hotels, market places, government offices--- were sold to private investors in lump sum cashes without transparencies. As the economy has fully transformed itself into capitalism at least on the papers, few people have quickly amassed with enormous wealth by connecting themselves as cronies with the top CPP officials especially with Hun Sen in order to gain their privilege access for doing businesses. And most of those Hun Sen's cronies have been implicated in many illegal business activities from drug smuggling, illegal logging, land crabbing, and tax evasions, and so on. Such a black market economy has quickly created a few top millionaires on the heavy expend from the millions of the poor. Based on these illegal business practices, the CPP and their cronies are not the real capitalists.
Unofficially, the CPP has been run by the two camps, namely the Chea Sim and the Hun Sen's camps. Previously some Western Political Analysts have branded the Chea Sim's Camps are more conservative than the Hun Sen's group. But, virtually none of these two groups are conservative or liberal, for we have not seen them adhered to any specific different doctrine or core value except they both have been faithful to Hanoi probably in different degree. The Chea Sim's Camp have shown nothing more conservative than the Hun Sen's, but they may be quieter and take softer stand against the oppositions than the Hun Sen's. They may weaker and less wealthy than the Hun Sen's Camp. For Hun Sen, he has been salient to the West as a reformed leader in the whole CPP's Camp, but the time has already justified if he is a true reformed leader or just a culprit. Over 20 years since the Paris Peace Accord, no body has thought that the democracy has dwindled as in the current situation. The country has gradually fallen into the quasi one party-system rule; all national institutions--military, police, court, the NEC and all others-- have been under Hun Sen and his party's control. In fact, he has reformed the country from democratic government implanted by the UN in 1993 to the current de facto authoritarian regime.
The CPP, the oldest political party in Cambodia, have ruled the country over three decades without their clear political ideologies or core values. Because,covertly, they have run the country as the proxy of Hanoi. We have clearly seen that their real political ideologies have strictly adhered to the faith and trust with Hanoi, and their core values have been nothing more than power, corruption, violence, and tricks as we have witnessed over the past three decades. The current heavy troop deployments in the vicinities of the Capital City and the other cities to subdue or to crack down on the possible peaceful mass protests against the election fraud have explicitly proven that the CPP is the violent prone party . It's very flagrant and unacceptable when the political parties have run the country without their core value and clear vision for the country, instead they have been used by the outside powers to serve their political ambition.