A Change of Guard

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Friday, 28 February 2014

Social Media revolutionizes Cambodia’s politics

Give our kids a better deal 
PHNOM PENH (The Cambodia Herald) -- When the opposition leader Sam Rainsy, a Cambodian-French politician, started his Facebook page three months before the last July 2013 election, he may have thought that Facebook could be an effective communication tool for him to spread his political messages to the Cambodian voters, especially the young ones.

The election result proved that the opposition leader is absolutely right by choosing the social media to promote himself and spread political messages in Cambodia where the ruling Cambodian People’s Party of Prime Minister Hun Sen still dominates the traditional media such as newspapers, radio stations and television stations.

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party won 55 seats out of 123 seats in the National Assembly. That is a big jump from 29 seats, the Sam Rainsy and the Human Rights Party, which formed the CNRP, won in the 2008 elections.

Sam Rainsy even claimed that if there were no election frauds, CNRP may have won seats more than enough to form a new government.

The opposition leader Sam Rainsy now claimed that his Facebook page is the most popular page in Cambodia, having 440, 000 fans, who like the page.

Everyday, Sam Rainsy, with the help from his assistants, posted his daily activities, political messages, and news stories which are in favor of the CNRP.

Even though the majority of traditional media are in favor of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, the social media ends the media monopoly by the CPP which has ruled Cambodia over three decades since the South East Asian country was liberated from the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979.

Because of the impact of social media, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s power is shaky for the first time. After the election’s result was announced, Hun Sen, one of the Asian longest-serving leaders, acknowledged that the CPP still has some weakness, prompting him to announce extensive and deep reforms.

The social media is now revolutionizing Cambodia’s politics, forcing all politicians, and political parties, especially the ruling party, to be more open, transparent and accountable for the Cambodian people.

- See more at: http://www.thecambodiaherald.com/cambodia/detail/1?page=11&token=NmI2OTgxNzkxZWU#sthash.2XaBqMrK.dpuf

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