A Change of Guard

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Friday, 24 February 2017

Hun Sen's new law to weaken and destroy CNRP will push the country into islation

CPP law makers approved a law to put pressure on CNRP

By Khmer Wathanakam

Fearing of losing election, Hun Sen may have a trouble sleeping, and to reduce his level of fear and anxiety, Hun Sen has to search for new tactic in order to stay upper hand over his opponents, CNRP. After swiftly ordering his court to jail the new prominent analyst Mr. Kem Sok, Hun Sen moved to pass a controversial law that put severe restriction on all political parties, mainly aimed at CNRP, the most popular and a big threat to Hun Sen's power grip. This new infamous law just created to protect Hun Sen's power and to threaten and destroy his opponents. The CPP claimed that this new law that contains 11chapters can help to keep the country from anarchy and maintain  peace and stability. But the most important point in this law is to bar convicted person from becoming the president and vice president of the party, and finally lead to dissolve the party at the end. Also this law gave enormous power to the Interior Ministry to monitor all parties and bring them to court if they are found for violating this new law. As the court system, interior ministry, and other security apparatus under Hun Sen and CPP control, they can interpret the law on their own will in order to eliminate any party that they have seen as a real threat to their power. Thus this law can kill an already fragile democracy and push the country into one party system which grossly violates the Paris Peace Accord and the country constitution that have fully guaranteed the multi-party political system. And this new infamous law clearly indicates that Cambodia is moving toward dictatorship rule by one man who has already ruled the country over 30 years. Without strong opposition and unity among all Khmer people to change this regime, Cambodia will fall into a bottomless pit of Neo-Communist dictatorship under Hun Sen's dynasty that has been strongly backed up by Hanoi.

Cambodia already has a good constitution and the law for political parties, Hun Sen should work to strengthen the rule of law rather than to create more unnecessary laws that intent to pressure and destroy his opponents. This law is brazenly interferes internal affairs of other political parties because it prohibits the party members to choose their own leaders who they love and strictly curbs the party activities during election campaign or post-election result. Any election result protest in the future will be prohibited by this law, and any party dares to lead the protest will face severe crackdown from the government and the party will be dissolved based on this law. And the goal of this law is arming at CNRP, the main threat to CPP, for Hun Sen has failed to destroy and break up CNRP for numerous attempts by creating a culture of dialogue with CNRP and offering position to CNRP leaders in parliament as a minority leader who holds the status the same as the prime minister post. In fact, Hun Sen tried to shake hand and step on his partner's feet. He always tried to play Sam Rainy against Kem Sokha by rewarding one and cursing another and vice versa in order to split them from each other in the party leadership.
However, not only CNRP leaders even the ordinary people know well about Hun Sen's same old trick.  Hun Sen has played this dirty trick successfully to destroy his main rivals in the past-- BLDP, FORCINPEC, and Khmer Nation Party... Now Hun Sen has repeatedly failed to break up CNRP. But he has never given up his malicious attempt. Along with playing Sam Rainsy against Kem Sokha, Hun Sen plotted sex scandal against Kem Sokha and other CNRP's officials and filed numerous defame lawsuits against Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha. Facing too many lawsuits and verdicts against him, Sam Rainsy forced himself to step down from the party president position in order to save the party. Although Sam Rainsy officially resigned from the CNRP's president post, Hun Sen seems dissatisfy with that, for Hun Sen's final goal is to see CNRP dissolved or destroyed like most his rivals in the past. From now on, CNRP's leaderships and their members have to walk on a tightrope because Hun Sen's court can interpret any activity and speech of CNRP as a violation to the new law and move to dissolve the party.

Now there are two scenarios against CNRP: Hen Sen may or may not try to find an excuse to bar CNRP's president and vice president or to dissolve the party before the local election in the next few months if he find any violation of the law. On the other hand, he may wait and see the local election results if CNRP win majority in the local election, Hun Sen will try all his means to disrupt and destroy CNRP at all cost in order to steal victory in the general election in 2018, the most crucial election that will decide his fate. As he has repeatedly declared that the army is on his hand, and his top military commander Gen. Pol Saroeun declared his loyalty to Hun Sen and determined to protect Hun Sen and his family. This is not new, in the past Defense Minister Tea Manh and many other Generals always declared loyalty to Hun Sen and protect his family against their imaginary color revolution that they have tried to paint on the opposition and the people who have shown their grievance against the regime repression.  In the future Hun Sen will use the new law to ban all peaceful protests by using them as an excuse for creating political distability in the country.

This new controversial law will severely restrict CNRP's activities in the upcoming election campaigns, and they will use this law to interpret any unusual activity as against the law and will  punish them by court closely under Hun Sen control. To survive from Hun Sen's suppression, CNRP should walk on a fine line and be well disciplined for all their political activities in the election campaigns. Now Sam Rainsy resigned  from the party president post, and Kem Sokha is fully in charge as an acting president. And what Kem Sokha has done so far is more effective by calling for all party officials and supporters to stay united and focus on their mission to win the election rather than to provoke or respond to all Hun Sen's threats. This is a wise strategy when we face with bigger and stronger enemies, we should not confront with them on the battle field but trick the enemies into their disadvantageous position. In this scenario, Hun Sen and his CPP don't have more upper hand in the ballot box, so try to fight with them on the ballot box rather than on the streets.

And if Hun Sen tries to bar Kem Sokha from become the party president by ordering his court to reopen a couple fabricated lawsuits against him, CNRP may choose Kong Korm, Son sober, Son Chay, or Pol Horm as an acting president and vice president to lead the party to win election. As long as CNRP is not broken up, the people still vote for them no matter who is the party president. And if Hun Sen finally tries to dissolve the party, CNRP may face a dilemma, CNRP has two uncomfortable choices: to regroup by changing the name and party logo or finally make a decisive move, to boycott the election. Although it may face some risks but it makes an election meaningless and invalid. Because all the people and the international community have seen CNRP as the only real opposition party to contest with the ruling party, CPP. Without CNRP participation, Hun Sen will contest election alone. Most of the small parties are Hun Sen's subordinates and his puppets. And Hun Sen expects wining landslide again, but this time the UN, the international community, and the people will not recognize election result, and Hun Sen's new government will lose legitimacy. And Hun Sen's illegitimate government will be isolated and face severe economic punishment from the West: Hun Sen may lose seat in UN again, economic sanction, travel ban for top officials, and as a result, Cambodian economy will freely fall into great recession. All the rich and the poor will bear the same burden: The rich will lose value of their investments and property, and the poor will lose jobs and have hard time to make a living. Thus, Hun Sen can't do any thing on his own will without consequences.

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