The Rainsy road to hell?

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KT/Mai Vireak

Sam Rainsy, since he was booted out of the royalist FUNCINPEC Party in 2004 has always maintained his stance on prevailing political conditions in the country until now. Calls for a boycott by international election observers with the aim of tainting the recognition of the July 2018 polls and calling for a ban on Cambodian imports as well as the imposition of trade sanctions, is a hallmark of Mr Rainsy.

His latest call for Cambodians to boycott the polls is another example of his wishy-washy stance, with nothing more than a malicious intention to harm the country’s democratic process and its economy.

Mr Rainsy’s calls for a boycott of his country’s general election, yet internationally he advocates for freedom of speech and the exercise of universal rights. Least he forgets, the right to vote is a basic human right. His call for a boycott of the July election violates the rights of millions of opposition supporters who have a choice to make their voices heard. They still are able to vote for the two component parties of the now defunct CNRP – the Candle Light Party and the Human Rights Party – or a multitude of other parties which have emerged to capitalise on the prevailing political sentiments.

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Would it not be better to give a chance to the Candle Light Party and Human Rights Party to contest in the July 29 election to test their popularity? Or does Mr Rainsy have sinister intentions to kill off these two parties, too?

The absence of the now defunct CNRP in the general election does not signify the death of democracy in the country, as claimed by the opposition and certain quarters of the media, and neither is the Kingdom moving towards a one party state. The bashing should stop. There are opposition parties like the Candle Light Party and Human Rights Party that formed the core of the CNRP – and they have not been deregistered and still can contest in the election. But Mr Rainsy still intends to mislead the international community with the help of certain media. Only fools will fall for his lies, and as the saying goes “take the bait hook, line and sinker”.

The right and smart thing for Mr Rainsy, the now defunct CNRP and the 118 banned members to do now is to call on their supporters to go to the polls and cast their ballots for the remaining opposition parties. Let the battle begin and let the people decide who will obtain the upper hand in the July poll. Whichever party that gets most votes will be ‘by the people and for the people’.

Mr Rainsy’s international call for an election boycott does not augur well for Cambodia’s fledgling democracy. Peace and stability are the precursors to Cambodia’s economic growth. The Asian Development Bank in its latest report released last month put forward that Cambodia’s economic outlook for 2018 is marked by robust export growth, strong foreign investment, sustained growth in the number of tourist arrivals, and buoyant domestic demand. The ADB puts the Kingdom’s economic growth in 2018 and 2019 at seven percent, following solid growth in the country’s main drivers of economic growth – the construction sector, the garment and footwear industry, tourism and domestic trade.

Would any politician in their right mind want to jeopardise the stellar economic performance of their own country by advocating unrest through an indictment of the state’s democratic process? The answer is obvious. For Mr Rainsy to do so, just shows he’s not a Cambodian at heart and just doesn’t give two hoots about the well-being of the nation. To follow the Rainsy path, is to follow the road to hell and Cambodia does not deserve it – not in the least.

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