The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) threw their support behind Prime Minister Hun Sen as their prime ministerial candidate for next year’s national election, following the party’s Central Committee Extraordinary Conference held on July 16-17.
The CPP also expressed its general satisfaction with the June 5 commune council election, which it said reflected – in both its operations and results – the “maturity of multi-party democracy in Cambodia”.
The CPP further called for close cooperation with other political parties and with civil society organisations in the Kingdom, in-line with democratic principles and in order to ensure a healthy political environment, according to the party’s announcement on the conference results obtained by The Post on July 17.
The extraordinary conference was held at CPP headquarters in the capital’s Chamkarmon district and it was attended by 743 out of 865 central committee members along with the participation of 3,474 party members from the district to the national levels as well as the party’s working groups.
“The conference solemnly supports Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen as the prime ministerial candidate for the 7th mandate of the National Assembly and it supports H.E. Hun Manet as its future prime ministerial candidate,” said the party statement.
The statement noted the success of the CPP in the June 5 commune council election, which it said was held “freely and fairly in an environment that was neutral, secure, orderly, non-violent and without threats or intimidation”.
In the June 5 election, the CPP received 74.32 per cent of the valid votes cast, taking 80.67 per cent or 9,376 out of 11,622 commune council seats. The party also netted 99.76 per cent of the commune chief positions for a total of 1,652 communes.
“This success reflects the political maturity of the democratic process in Cambodia through its implementation of regular multi-party democratic elections and maintaining political pluralism from the national down to local levels,” the statement said.
The party thanked the people for their support, saying that the victory by the CPP showed the good judgement of the people and its support for the leadership of the CPP at all levels which also reflected the Cambodian people’s support for peace, development and the CPP president and Kingdom’s prime minister, Hun Sen.
The CPP statement said that they will continue to push for strengthening peace, political stability, security, public order, safe villages and communes, controlling the spread of Covid-19, socio-economic recovery, development and promoting the livelihoods of the people in the post-Covid era while strengthening democracy and the rule of law.
They wholly support the government in its efforts to stabilise the macro-economy, prevent inflation and increase Khmer riel purchasing power, the statement said.
The CPP further stated that it also supports an increase in salary for civil servants and armed forces members along with changes in the pension plans for civil servants and veterans as well as the creation of pensions for those working under the labour law and an increase in salary for all workers.
The party also voiced support for the plan to amend the constitution to ensure smooth administration of the top national institutions and especially the executive branch, so as to ensure and protect peace, social security, public order, political stability in all situations because that is the basis for development and the happiness of the people.
In calling for close cooperation from civil society and political parties, the CPP statement said:
“We also have to prevent all mischief, whatever its source, that is aimed at destroying peace, political stability, security, public order or inciting rebellion that will prevent the country’s development on the path of democracy and the rule of law.”
Prime Minister Hun Sen, as the president of the CPP, said that the conference was open to accepting input from all party members at all levels to strengthen their organisation.
“[Hun Sen] stressed that this extraordinary conference is being held to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the party during the recent commune council election and debate those points in order to make plans for winning the national election in 2023,” said Hun Sen’s Facebook post on July 16.
CPP vice-president and the party’s secretary- general, Say Chhum, said that the recent commune council election shows that the CPP has the maturity to allow free and fair elections in a multi-party democracy as stated in the country’s Constitution and laws.
“However, we must not be too proud of the election results. We must strive to continue our progress and to implement our policies, both for strengthening the party and building connections with the people. We must try to eliminate all activities that upset the people in order to ensure a strong base for our victory,” he said.
National Assembly President Heng Samrin, in his capacity as the honorary president of the party, said that the CPP has political righteousness, support from the people, strong leadership and human resources with virtue, capacity, solidarity, internal unity and a clear working structure.
Royal Academy of Cambodia secretary-general Yang Peou said on July 17 that CPP held the meeting to review the strategies for the 2023 national election and determine the direction of the party’s leadership.
“Clearly, the CPP is the current ruling party and it has a big advantage towards achieving victory with its strengths. However, it must examine its strengths and weaknesses and the strengths and weaknesses of its rivals to continue to win contested elections in the future,” he said.