Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Post-local election will be a tough fight for CNRP in next year general election

By Khmer Wathanakam

The most intense local election competition has done with a result of unfavorable for both leading parties-- CNRP and CPP-- though CPP can manage to maintain about 70 per cent of their commune chiefs or 1,165 communes and sangkats, CNRP has wrestled to regain more than 400 commune chiefs from the CPP.  And the popular votes CNRP got 45 per cent while CPP received 48 per cent and the other 10 small parties received the combined popular votes 7 per cent according to unofficial data from NGO. However, the NEC did not reveal the number of seats each party received yet. But they expect The CPP will receive at least 6,000 seats and CNRP will receive over 5,000. At the same time both parties have claimed their popular votes have increased from previous election in 2013. nonetheless according to NGO, CPP still maintain their votes from 2013: about 3.3 million votes while CNRP have increased their vote to 3.15 million votes, closer to CPP.  Now we have seen that the gap of popular votes between the two major parties get closer from term to term even if CPP still hold power firmly in both local and national levels. How can CNRP try to break this iceberg, meaning to close the gap of popular votes and win over the CPP which has ruled the country nearly 40 years. If election is hold freely and fairly as if in the Western democracies, CNRP would win landslide since 2013, but the political environment in Cambodia is very tight and dangerous. CNRP, the largest opposition in the country has been persecuted severely from the ruling party, CPP: their leader Sam Rainsy was forced in exile in the third times and many CNRP's activists and human right defenders were jailed without reason. Thus, how can CNRP manage to win the national election in 2018 without a fair playing field?

The CPP still has its ill will to destroy its rival, CNRP, at all cost. In the next couple months, there will be more campaigns to weaken and destroy CNRP plotted by the CPP. Especially, its president Kem Sokha who had numerous pending cases against him in Hun Sen's control court. And the new commune chiefs and council members from CNRP will face more obstacles to run their communes too. The CPP may not provide enough fund to develop any commune run by CNRP, and they face with unfair accusation of corruption, crime, and any activity that the CPP can manipulate.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hun Sen's new law to weaken and destroy CNRP will push the country into isolation

CPP law makers approved a law to put pressure on CNRP

By Khmer Wathanakam

Fearing of losing election, Hun Sen may have a trouble sleeping, and to reduce his level of fear and anxiety, Hun Sen has to search for new tactic in order to stay upper hand over his opponents, CNRP. After swiftly ordering his court to jail the new prominent analyst Mr. Kem Sok, Hun Sen moved to pass a controversial law that put severe restriction on all political parties, mainly aimed at CNRP, the most popular and a big threat to Hun Sen's power grip. This new infamous law just created to protect Hun Sen's power and to threaten and destroy his opponents. The CPP claimed that this new law that contains 11chapters can help to keep the country from anarchy and maintain  peace and stability. But the most important point in this law is to bar convicted person from becoming the president and vice president of the party, and finally lead to dissolve the party at the end. Also this law gave enormous power to the Interior Ministry to monitor all parties and bring them to court if they are found for violating this new law. As the court system, interior ministry, and other security apparatus under Hun Sen and CPP control, they can interpret the law on their own will in order to eliminate any party that they have seen as a real threat to their power. Thus this law can kill an already fragile democracy and push the country into one party system which grossly violates the Paris Peace Accord and the country constitution that have fully guaranteed the multi-party political system. And this new infamous law clearly indicates that Cambodia is moving toward dictatorship rule by one man who has already ruled the country over 30 years. Without strong opposition and unity among all Khmer people to change this regime, Cambodia will fall into a bottomless pit of Neo-Communist dictatorship under Hun Sen's dynasty that has been strongly backed up by Hanoi.

Cambodia already has a good constitution and the law for political parties, Hun Sen should work to strengthen the rule of law rather than to create more unnecessary laws that intent to pressure and destroy his opponents. This law is brazenly interferes internal affairs of other political parties because it prohibits the party members to choose their own leaders who they love and strictly curbs the party activities during election campaign or post-election result. Any election result protest in the future will be prohibited by this law, and any party dares to lead the protest will face severe crackdown from the government and the party will be dissolved based on this law. And the goal of this law is arming at CNRP, the main threat to CPP, for Hun Sen has failed to destroy and break up CNRP for numerous attempts by creating a culture of dialogue with CNRP and offering position to CNRP leaders in parliament as a minority leader who holds the status the same as the prime minister post. In fact, Hun Sen tried to shake hand and step on his partner's feet. He always tried to play Sam Rainy against Kem Sokha by rewarding one and cursing another and vice versa in order to split them from each other in the party leadership.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

What will happen if Hun Sen disolves CNRP?

[Image credit RFA]

By Khmer Wathanakam

As election has drawn near, political environment has heat up to the highest point since post-election crisis in 2013. Currently when CNRP's popularity has surged all over the country and Khmer communities around the world, it makes Hun Sen nervous and feared of losing election. In order to gain his confidence and to maintain his power indefinitely, Hun Sen has used his same old trick to break up his main political rivals, CNRP, the most viable force that Hun Sen has a good reason to fear. Yet Hun Sen has failed to break up CNRP by using his same old trick. Failing to break up CNRP by using his old trick and furious with accusation from CNRP's president Sam Rainsy on Dr. Kem Ley murder case, scandal with bride with Thy Sovantha, involved K-5 plant that costed thousands of Cambodia life, and many other defamation cases, Hun Sen now retaliates with plotting his new strategy to bar convicted persons from becoming a political party president, vice president including the whole central committee of the party, and possibly to dissolve the parties.  This Hun Sen's new tactic if moves forward, it is a serious violation of the constitution and the Paris Peace Accord which has guaranteed the multi-political party system in Cambodia. And without CNRP's participation, the election will be meaningless and invalid.

Hun Sen has won five terms of election consecutively without giving his opponents equal playing field. He has controlled all state apparatus--military, police, court, NEC, finance, media and so forth; now although he still holds firmly on the state apparatus, he may feel not safe enough to win the upcoming election. To make him feel more confidence to win, he has to find all means to weaken and to destroy his opponents: plot sex scandal against CNRP's leadership, order court to convict and jail his opponents and critics on his will, and more seriously plan to create new law to ban his opponents from becoming the party president and dissolve the party if they have been convicted by his court. Hun Sen's new tactic may pose a great threat to democracy and the end of multi-party system in  Cambodia because the key player in the arena, CNRP, would be dissolved and its leaders: Sam Rainsy, Kem Sokha, and the whole CNRP's central committee members would be barred from politics in five years. This new law not affect only on CNRP but with other smaller party leaders too: Prince Ranaridh, Mam Sodando, and Sourn Sereyratha; they used to be the convicted persons too. Nonetheless, all these political leaders-- Sam Rainsy, Kem Sokha, Ranaridh, Mam Sonando, and Sourn Sereyratha-- are political prisoners or the prisoners of conscience, none of them are the convicted criminal. Probably Hun Sen who wants the law to bar them from politics is a real criminal based on his actions from the past to present.