Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
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As Hun Sen walked out from the Senate Building, he spontaneously told the waiting reporters that “victory, let together help applaud”. Cambodian people and supporters have posited doubt on what “victory” he mean? The agreement both parties signed seem show clear road-map bringing into implementation, but sympathizers see this as “output” not the “outcome” at all. On the other hand, some articles on the agreement are still vague and need more time to realistically articulate them. The victory might be plausible for Hun Sen as he will lead this government legitimately for another 5 years while Sam Rainsy is feeling relaxed as his 7 MPs-elect and one activist can walk out the prison as a bail from their unjust pre-trial detention. The two phenomenon is very dichotomous.
The doubtful theme of the agreement to breakthrough the deadlock:
Beside of clear numbers, roles and responsibility for power sharing within the parliament, the important agendas on National Election Committee (NEC) in-dept reform and the rescheduling of early election date caused by recent protests of election flaws, both are not yet written. The agreement just said they will anticipate with the task force of both parties to work on it. According to the publicized agreement (in Khmer and translated into English by KEEN Languages Interpreter), the current NEC that CNRP has fought vehemently, is still having full authority to conduct their tasks, and the agreed statement on 4 members of the NEC selected by the CNRP must go through this current NEC’s mission as usual before the new NEC body is created. The 9 members of the NEC or the formula of 4+4+1 will be deliberately applying to all levels such as provincial and district NEC, or just the top NINE? For the new date of early election is not mentioned exactly within the agreement as it will depend on the task force from both sides.
For the power sharing within the parliament, CNRP is expecting to build rule of law from within the parliament on their insisting demand of “check and balance” governance by having separate power between Legislative and Executive. Hence, the agreement doesn’t say anything about Judiciary. Further more, there are loopholes on those 10 committees especially the possible inefficient work interaction. For instance, the “investigation, cleaning-up and anti-corruption” is led by CNRP including many other committees but not the “Finance”, or “Interior”, or “Public Services” etc. that will posit difficulty for CNRP to operate their task smoothly. The most challenging thing for CNRP is probably the limit of human resources.
The CNRP Leadership:
The agreement is lacking to mention the proper party name as “The Cambodia National Rescue Party” by writing only “National Rescue Party” which is a sign I would like to link to that CNRP cannot isolate itself from their people (supporters). Thus, the leaders of all levels must work hard to explain the reasons to join the parliament this time to the people (their supporters) before those supporters are confused by others. Sam Rainsy who is the president of the party is seen likely unhappy from this deal. His first word to the public is we have no option, national reconciliation and compromise is the most important thing. His speech posited many invisible meaning for all of us.
He might foresee the long run consequences after CNRP joint the parliament. He has hugely gained experiences in Cambodian politics especially in handling with his everlasting rival, Hun Sen.
During this recent decades, I can say Sam Rainsy is a great Khmer leader who is projecting his new vital leadership to pave a new strong social fabric of Cambodia. Observers have simultaneously said that Cambodian social fabric has been so fragile. Violence, corruption and abusing of power etc. are easily happened by this post-Khmer Rouge society pattern. Visionary and long-sighted leader is a leader who comprehend this fragility and he is pragmatically staying in focus to bring about candid social fabric for Cambodian people.
As the challenges, Cambodian social fabric is not only referring to the whole nation, but the biggest fractions such as CNRP party and CPP party. For Sam Rainsy, CNRP has many thing falling behind especially good flows of bureaucratic leadership and capable merit-based candidates appointment. While the party is emerged as the role model for Cambodian people especially the new aspiration of younger generation, the party-based candidates and staffs selection is seen not different from the CPP’s. By unparalleled on finance base and armed forces, the CNRP must ensure that the party can recruit the best candidates as their agents and can maintain the increasing people popularity.
By Sophoan Seng