Prime Minister Hun Sen has asked CPP members to start preparing for the commune elections in 2022 and national elections the following year.
He made the call during the party’s Central Committee congress held over the weekend.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan on Sunday said the party has asked its younger members, in particular, to work hard in preparing for the elections.
“[Mr Hun Sen] encouraged and instructed all party members to put in great effort to ensure victory for the CPP during the sub-national election in 2022 and the national election in 2023,” he said.
Mr Eysan said Mr Hun Sen noted the party must remain united to win so democracy, peace and stability in the Kingdom are preserved.
He said Mr Hun Sen wanted party members to stand in solidarity, follow orders and maintain peace, stability and economic growth for citizens.
Mr Eysan added the central leadership warned members in the military, police and civil administrations against abusing their powers.
“We won’t allow these [abuse of power] to happen anymore. We will implement serious punishments that the prime minister has introduced…because these acts affect the institutions’ image and reputation,” he added.
Mr Eysan said during the congress Mr Hun Sen also stressed that administrative services at the grassroots level still need to be improved.
In February 2015, Mr Hun Sen created the Party Central Committee’s Mass Movement, headed by Men Sam An, Minister of National Assembly-Senate Relations and Inspection, to spearhead the CPP election machinery.
The committee is responsible for assessing the party’s weak and strong points at the grassroots level in efforts to formulate the CPP’s strategies to ensure victory at elections.
Other parties have started to prepare in the elections as well.
Pich Sros, president of Cambodian Youth Party, yesterday said he is optimistic his party will win seats during both elections.
“We are sure that we will get some seats because we see that people are still unhappy about the ruling party’s administration,” Mr Sros said. “Corruption and nepotism are still big problems that the CPP cannot deal with at the grassroots level.”
He said his party will focus on anti-corruption, illegal immigration, and land disputes during its campaigns.
Grassroots Democratic Party spokesman Leok Sothea yesterday said his party is also preparing a strategy to contest the elections.
“We have started preparing our campaigns for the sub-national and national elections,” he said.
Mr Sothea also noted the CPP needs to work more on its sub-national administrations, adding corruption and nepotism are still big issues that will drive people away from supporting the ruling party.
“We want to compete against the CPP and we see that its members practice nepotism and are corrupted,” he said. “Therefore this will be our strong point.”
Political analyst Meas Nee yesterday said the CPP is worried about the 2023 general election because former CNRP politicians would have their political bans lifted by then.
He said the ruling party is trying to weaken former CNRP members by dividing them into two groups: One supporting Sam Rainsy and the other supporting Kem Sokha.
“If the former opposition leaders [Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha] unite, the ruling party will be worried, especially for upcoming elections,” Mr Nee said.
He noted the ruling party at the grassroots level is still weak and easy to defeat.
“We saw that during the commune elections in 2017 the ruling party lost some grassroots votes to the former Cambodian National Rescue Party, so that is why it is trying to split the former opposition members,” Mr Nee noted. “If they remain split, they won’t do well in the elections.