A Change of Guard

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Saturday, 10 December 2016

Hun Sen, a man who can make rain and storm in Cambodia politics

[Kem Sokha and Hun Sen on the way to Assembly Session, Image from Facebook]

By Khmer Wathanakam

Over the past year, political atmosphere has been heated up caused by one man, Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has clung to power more than 30 years and continues to hold it tightly regardless of what may happen. To maintain his power grip, Hun Sen has shamelessly used his dirty tricks to assassinate his opponents, to imprison, to force into exile, to insult, to threaten, and to break up their unity, and to confuse the situation prior to election seasons. Hun Sen will be sleepless, if he perceives his opponents are stronger and more popular than him. In order to stay on top of his opponents, he has to create rain and storm to weaken and destroy them in any circumstance. A murder of Dr. Kem Ley, an exile of CNRP leader, Sam Rainsy, the imprisonment of CNRP's senator Hong Sokhour and CNRP's MP Oum Som Ann along with other activists, the human right activists, NEC deputy secretary general, violent mob against two CNRP's MPs, and a plotted sex scandal against Kem Sokha are the most important political events that have been orchestrated by Hun Sen this year.  Although Kem Sokha and CNRP's commune chief, Mr. Seang Chet, have been freed, there are many more political prisoners still in jail, and the government failed to investigate Dr. Kem Ley's murder case that now falls into a pattern of numerous murder cases previously that they have never found a real murderers to justice.  The current detente won't last longer the same as previous ones, but it will open an opportunity for CNRP to negotiate with Hun Sen in order to release its activists, human right defenders, and the other political prisoners.

There is nothing new and surprised that Hun Sen promptly released Mr. Kem Sokha and Mr. Seang Chet simultaneously, for he is the one who was behind this issue. And Hun Sen has enormous power to throw any one into jail or to release them on his will. As he declared that if CNRP was quiet and did not mention about international pressure on him, he might release more CNRP and human right activists, otherwise they would stay in jail until the end of their term. Hun Sen repeatedly warned that they have to read his behavior carefully. This Hun Sen's tirade just indicates that he is the man who can make rain and storm in Cambodia politics. He can point his finger at any one to go to jail, to go in exile, or to be killed as Dr. Kem Ley if he wants to. No one can stop or check his undeserved power, since he has controlled all national institutions which should be independent according to the constitution---court, ACU, police, military, finance, and so forth.