Cambodia

Rallying for Change

 

Toul Tompong, Phnom Penh

 

Commune (think Local Council) elections are set for June 4.

Hun Sen is worried. His grip is loosening.

And when he is worried he returns to what has always worked for him in the past: intimidation.

‘Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday threatened to unleash war on the opposition party if he loses patience with their campaign for the June 4 commune council elections, saying it did not matter that his rivals were unarmed and that his party would burn their homes down.’

War scares any right-thinking person. But no one more so than Cambodians of a certain age who know what war is really like.

It’s an ugly tactic.

But yesterday it took more than 20 minutes for the Cambodia National Rescue Party election rally to pass by my apartment. They were a cheerful lot, young and old and middle-aged.

There’s momentum for change.

In the 2012 election Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party won 1,592 commune chief positions. The opposition just 40.

Time (and the level of interfering in the election) will tell how much that will change.

Meanwhile, Hun Sen and his cronies continue to harass the opposition across the country. They are no friends of democracy or an open society.

In Oddar Meanchey four monks were taken in for questioning by Provincial Governor Sar Thavy and police officers for posting this on Facebook.

 “If any official or any party brings trouble to villagers, don’t vote for that party.”

Some things, some people, don’t change.

 

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