Svay Rieng province – The Grassroots Democratic Party yesterday distributed policy leaflets here to seek support from voters, some of whom had never heard of the party prior to being presented with the pamphlets.
Sek Sokha, a candidate for the province, said that a party working group distributed leaflets which briefly described the GDP’s policies in Svay Chrum and Romeas Hek districts.
“We have distributed leaflets and explained our policies to people through speakers,” he said, adding that he also explained to voters the background and detailed policies of the GDP.
“As well as verbal explanations and helping them understand the basics of democracy, we also told them how the GDP will do things to develop communities,” he added.
The GDP’s policies focus on agriculture, employment, health, education, and social and public services.
Because of a lack of funds and members, Mr Sokha decided to distribute leaflets rather than organise a large rally. He was accompanied by three other party members in a car with two mounted speakers for the leaflet campaign.
“We campaign like this because it involves spending less money and it is not difficult to pick up members,” he said. “This way is also more effective.”
Mr Sokha said distributing leaflets could engage voters with the GDP. More than 3,000 leaflets had been distributed, he said.
He expected that the party would win support in the province, in which most voters supported the former opposition CNRP and now backed the GDP. The CPP won three out of five seats in the province in 2013, with the other two going to the CNRP.
While distributing the leaflets, GDP activists raised issues mostly related to policies for old people, workers and pregnant women.
Under its policies, people from age 65 would get $37.5 per month, workers would get five months’ allowances during unemployment, and all women would receive $125 for giving birth.
Party member Phoung Piseth said many people supported the GDP after the leaflets were distributed.
“I will not stop supporting the GDP because I see the party policies are good,” Mr Piseth said.
Many villagers in Romeas Hek district said they knew only a few parties, including the ruling CPP and the dissolved CNRP. Eng Sokhom said only the CPP and GDP have campaigned in her commune this year and she became aware of the GDP through the leaflet.
“I am already prepared to vote in this election, but I will continue to read the leaflet and analyse their policies first before I make a decision on which party to vote for,” she said.
Another villager, Mao Sam Ath, said she felt hopeless now that the CNRP was gone and she had not yet decided if she would cast a ballot. However, she said she was interested in the policies of the GDP.
“I am considering if I will vote or not, and will wait until I completely read the GDP policies first,” she said.