Internal reform and international relations were discussed on the second day of the Cambodian People’s Party congress yesterday.
Prime Minister Hun Sen and National Assembly president Heng Samrin joined about 1,000 other CPP party members on Koh Pich.
CPP spokesman Chhim Phal Virun yesterday said members focused on internal reform and enhancing international relations.
“We discussed achieving more victories for our party by responsibly leading the country and forming strategies on internal reforms and how to handle international pressure,” Mr Phal Virun said.
“Internal reform means we look in the mirror, take a bath, clean our bodies, clean dirty things and cure any illness,” he added. “Reform is to ensure that we stay with the people and the people stays with us – we have to serve the people, it is their mandate.”
Mr Phal Virun noted that Cambodia needs international friends that can respect its sovereignty and independence, and not meddle in Cambodian affairs.
“Just because we are friends does not mean that you are our boss,” he said, referring to a European Union review of Cambodia’s Everything-but-arms trade status. “The matter of EBA is not important to us, until now nothing negative has come out of the review.”
Mr Phal Virun noted that regardless of the outcome of the review of the EBA status, Cambodia will eventually reach a point where it would not need preferential status.
“We are prepared if they decide to withdraw the EBA status, because we will still be able to survive,” he said. “But if they choose to keep it, then we will still be strong.”
Mr Phal Virun said the congress is expected to fill vacant positions on the party’s Central Committee today.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan yesterday said party members listened to general situation reports, learned from each other and raised important party issues.
Mr Eysan said the party is looking to conduct an internal reform in order for party members to govern more effectively.
“CPP has been gripping this situation and is looking a lot stronger now,” he said. “However, there are some uneducated people who say that the CPP is hiding behind the congress due to fear of the revocation of the EBA status.”
“This is the 40th congress – which means that we have won 40 times,” Mr Eysan added. “The government has been doing its job by responsibly leading the country.”
Political analyst Lao Mong Hay yesterday said the words of CPP members do not match their actions.
“They have not matched their deeds,” Mr Mong Hay said.