Looking at the events of the past days, it seems elections are not needed anymore in Cambodia…
A short recap of interesting recent events ahead of the July 28th elections in Cambodia…
- Mr. Sam Rainsy from the opposition SRP (Sam Rainsy Party) is still in self-imposed exile, as a prison sentence is waiting for him in his home country.
- About a year ago the opposition parties SRP and HRP (Human Rights Party) merged into the CNRP (Cambodian National Rescue Party).
- The National Assembly permanent committee, of which only CPP MP’s are a member, kicked 27 opposition party MP’s out of the National Assembly on the grounds that by merging into one party, they are no longer representative.
- The CPP provided a short recording by CNRP co-head Kem Sokha saying that the infamous S21 interrogation center was staged by the Vietnamese to justify the 1978 invasion. The CNRP is unable to track down the origin of the recording. The CPP does not provide the entirety of the speech where these words were allegedly said.
- Chum Mey, one of the few S21 survivors and Civil Party at the ECCC, asks that Kem Sokha apologises for what he allegedly said.
- In a matter of days the CPP lawmakers, after a suggestion by Prime Minister Hun Sen, pass a law making any denial of crimes against humanity punishable.
- Chum Mey calls for a nationwide demonstration. In a few days it gathers about 4,000 people on Freedom Place during an extremely well organised demonstration featuring plenty of banners, food, drinking water and an impressive number of civilians with icoms directing the participants to their various demonstration spots.
Two small side notes: there was not ONE sign of the CPP logo at the demonstration, and when someone from the organisation asked me to give some space to Chum Mey when he had to climb on the truck he politely said to me: ‘Please, I want you to give some space to my victim’…