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Prime Minister Needs CNRP to Push Reform Agenda

M.H.Tee / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen (L) speaks with Sam Rainsy, president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). (Reuters: Samrang Pring)

PHNOM PENH, (Khmer Times) – As the situation stabalizes after the July 22 pact between the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the Cambodian National Rescue party (CNRP), it has become critical that Prime Minister Hun Sen push his reform agenda.
It is clear that Mr. Hun Sen and his ruling CPP need the opposition CNRP to push forward their reform agenda. 
“He is willing to have a free and fair competition with his counterpart through a democratic election process, definitely not through the use of force and coercion,” said Dr. Chheang Vannarith, an academic and political analyst on South East Asia. “He is very much concerned about building his legacy. He will not destroy the achievements that he has made.  On the other hand he will try to build upon his achievements.”
He pointed out that outsiders may not have a clear picture of the complexity of the history and nature of Cambodian politics. 
“Peace and stability must not be taken for granted,” he continued. “It is the cradle for the national reconstruction process in a post-conflict and fragile society. Cambodia has enjoyed a relatively high growth rate over the last two decades, although it is not inclusive. 
“For a peaceful and smooth power transition to take place, it needs to have a stable and solid democratic foundation. Electoral reform is a key to this process. Now both winning parties have agreed to work together to renew the leadership and organization  a structure of the National Election Committee (NEC).”
This, said Dr. Vannarith, is a essential  step towards strengthening an electoral democracy.
He stressed that the people of Cambodia have pushed both the CPP and CNRP to share a common destiny. 
“They must work together to achieve common goals, although structural competition exists. “It will be a healthy competition, assisting each other to correct mistakes. The reform path can be smooth and productive. It is a new beginning for all Cambodians to join hands and work towards prosperity.”
He pointed out that the CNRP is going to provide a mirror to the ruling CPP through debates at the National Assembly and other independent state institutions. 
If  the CPP can fix problems based on recommendations and complaints made by the CNRP, he said, that, in turn, will raise the credibility of the CPP.
He stressed that at the end of the day, Cambodia’s politics is a national problem and that no amount of pleading to the international community for intervention is going to be benefit the country or its people.
“Mr. Hun Sen knows that his legacy, that of the party and that of the country depends on his ability to seize the dynamics of the situation and quickly and firmly get a grip on a bloated and demonized bureaucracy and  tap-heavy administration. Turn it around from top to bottom and come out victorious with a leaner, more efficient and cleaner government in all aspects and at all levels,” he added.

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