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Kem Sokha: We won’t buy votes

May Titthara / Khmer Times Share:
Opposition CNRP leader Kem Sokha speaks to supporters in the provinces. Supplied

Opposition CNRP leader Kem Sokha has taken aim at the ruling party, saying his party has decided not to hand out money or offer positions to win support in next year’s national election.

Mr Sokha told supporters in Pursat province yesterday that he wanted the election to reflect the true will of the Cambodian people.

“We will submit a political program and the principles of the party to the people,” he said. “We decided not to use money, positions or power to attract people.

“We have to prepare a concrete political program that serves the real interests of the people and make a positive strategy to win the election.”

Mr Sokha urged all the party’s opponents and relevant institutions to make the election free and fair, with the victors winning honourably and the losers keeping good faith.

In Banteay Meanchey province on Sunday, he said he was seeing behaviour of Cambodian politicians from previous times, but it was now time to be friendly and act as a family.

“When disagreements break out there is almost always bloodshed,” he said. “This behaviour is outrageous and would destroy Khmer society and our country.”

On Sunday, Mr Hun Sen spoke to garment and footwear workers at Koh Pich, promising a range of services including free bus rides, a minimum wage rise and health insurance.

“Today, the Cambodian government pays attention to the situation of workers and their living standards, including increasing the minimum wage continuously,” Mr Hun Sen said.

Mr Hun Sen added that the move to increase the minimum wage was not because of opposition demands, but due to an increase in foreign investment.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said Mr Sokha had the right to say whatever he wanted but the duty of the Prime Minister and the government was to be responsible.

The free bus rides, minimum wage rise and health insurance were the duties of government, not to attract people.

“Did Kem Sokha get angry with the government about this?” he asked.

Mr Eysan said the opposition leader had accused the Prime Minister of buying the workers’ minds.

“It means the party leader does not want the workers to benefit from Mr Hun Sen’s policies,” he said. “It means the opposition leader doesn’t want workers to have a better  standard of living.”

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