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Posted by: | Posted on: April 7, 2018

Can Cambodia’s fractured opposition survive?

Can Cambodia’s fractured opposition survive?

 PHNOM PENH, APRIL 5, 2018 3:48 PM (UTC+8)

In America, where many former CNRP officials now find themselves in exile, members of each clique have shared platforms and speaking engagements.

Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha have become figure of change against the status-quo of Hun Sen. The perpetual attempts of Hun Sen to divide them both has been in vain that leading to Hun Sen's aggressive paranoia to dissolve this party. The author must comprehend this moment that from what Hun Sen did in dissolving the CNRP, the unity and awareness have become greater and sounder in directing this force to bring back Cambodia's democracy, rule of laws, justice, wealth share fairness, social trust, and sustainable development.

Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha have become figure of change against the status-quo of Hun Sen. The perpetual attempts of Hun Sen to divide them both has been in vain that leading to Hun Sen’s aggressive paranoia to dissolve this party. The author must comprehend this moment that from what Hun Sen did in dissolving the CNRP, the unity and awareness have become greater and sounder in directing this force to bring back Cambodia’s democracy, rule of laws, justice, wealth share fairness, social trust, and sustainable development.

“Is the spirit of the CNRP still alive? Of course it’s still alive. The CNRM intends to be a placeholder for when the CNRP is reconstituted,” says Sophal Ear, associate professor of diplomacy and world affairs at Occidental College at Los Angeles.

The Cambodia National Rescue Party – North America (CNRP-NA), composed of chapters from different American states, was formed after the HRP and SRP merged in 2012. It was formerly the SRP-NA.

But, in 2014, a number of members and state chapters, supposedly those loyal to the HRP, broke away to create the CNRP-USA. Today, this group appears to have remained loyal to those who want to remain under the CNRP banner.

But Phan Prak, a representative of the CNRP-USA, says the organization “is not against the CNRM nor have we ever supported it. The CNRP-USA respects an individual to exercise their rights to join any organizations as they wish.”

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While there are attempts by government-aligned media to portray divisions within the opposition as a sign of its feebleness, another interpretation is that internal disputes ought to be welcomed in any pro-democracy party or movement.

Indeed, a positive reading of current events is that voices ignored in the past are now being allowed to air their thoughts and grievances. Some political analysts think this is an opportunity for a younger generation of opposition figures to emerge.

“It is so important for the opposition party to have new blood in its leadership. Leaders in the opposition party should be the mentors for the new blood,” says Noan Sereiboth, a political blogger.

There are some indications that is happening. Kem Sokha’s eldest daughter, Kem Monovithya, 36, has been one of the most active and vocal figures, meeting with US senators last month and Japanese officials last week. She declined to comment for this article.

At the same time, analysts say there is the danger that if infighting continues there will only be one winner: Hun Sen. If fissures go unresolved then it would be the “nail in the coffin of the one formula that seemed to work: the creation of a unified opposition,” says academic Sophal Ear.

Continue to read this article in Asia Times…

Posted by: | Posted on: September 3, 2016

When incumbent government changed which level of positions shall be changed?

Image Credit: Ari V/ Shutterstock.com

Image Credit: Ari V/ Shutterstock.com

Political history of Cambodia has illustrated less scene on how changing from government to government affects on incumbent government’s level of public servants? Major scenes are regime change which changed the whole system. But during the UN’s monitored election in 1993, the change of government was become impossible as two prime ministers and other two assigned duties to each political apparatus smoothly coordinated. During that time, some leaders said the change were down to principles and superintendents of public schools. This practice has surely affected on society unity and corruption embeddedness. Now, there are questions on how CNRP plan to change level of government’s positions when this party won election in 2018?

Believe it or not, Cambodia home-made democracy is a Raem Vong (round dance) approach. We have difficulty in jumping off from god-king politics to modern democracy politics. And the constraints are level of education and embedded behaviour of self-centric leadership. 25 years since the election in 1993, the political apparatus has not only visible from under-secretaries to upper echelon, the government-led party has likely viewed all public servants including teachers and arm-forces personnel are belonged to the party. Rationales behind this are following political abstracts: 1-party has survived them from atrocity, 2-party has fed them food and other amenity, 3-party has brought peace and security to them etc. Or sometime, the top leader boasted publicly about his rationales of his monopolistic suzerainty through what he has built roads, schools, and many other public goods especially his effort to maintain peace and security and capitalism etc.
Speaking from a pragmatism approach, CNRP which is inherited from decades of struggle has also been assimilated by this political behaviour, or caused by so-called Cambodia home-made democracy as sociologists may call it collective cognitive political behaviour.
Hence, CNRP has relied on pragmatism than idealism, or we can say maintaining outputs than throwing Sam Rainsy Returnout inputs because they don’t have much inputs to be thrown. We must agree that through this 25 years, human resource has hugely built within the government (government here refers to pragmatic collective body being inclusive of public servants, civil society member activists, and members of opposition political parties etc.) By looking from outside political behaviour, CNRP might at least take model of British Westminster System to its leadership core as this style is not only practised in those commonwealth states but also most democratic states. By looking at their key policy stating that CNRP stands on national reconciliation and unity by eradicating colouring each other, discrimination and patronage system through ameliorating following 6 core principles as you can read them all here , so I do believe CNRP must be working hard and working smart combining together.
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