Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s party, the Cambodian People’s Party, or CPP, is set to win the Cambodian national election next month, without any surprises expected.
This July, Cambodia is holding a general election to elect members of the sixth National Assembly. The participation of 20 political parties in the election shows signs of improvement in democracy in Cambodia.
In a preview of next month’s election, the CPP dominated the election for Cambodia’s fourth legislative senate held in February.
It also won the commune council election held on 4 June 2017, thus further consolidating its base after the elimination of a major opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, or CNRP, on 16 November 2017.
The CPP, originally the Khmer Revolutionary Party, celebrated its 67th anniversary on 28 June 2018, the date it was founded to lead the struggle to gain independence from colonialism.
In view of the CPP’s numerous achievements in ensuring peace, political stability and economic development in Cambodia, it is expected that Cambodian people will continue to give their votes in favour of the party’s leadership in the next tenure.
The CPP is still recognised for its role in toppling the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime led by Pol Pot in January 1979. The country is still reeling from this episode, when two million people died under the 5 years of brutality.
The successful overthrow of the Pol Pot’s regime has closed one of Cambodia’s darkest chapters in its history.
It is true that since then, the party has restored and rebuilt the country’s social and economic condition to achieve transformation.
The CPP said the country has carried out numerous transformations especially in the socio-economic field.
It is officially said that through sustainably high economic growth and equitable distribution, poverty saw a reduction while living conditions were improved.
The country is also encouraged by its stepping out of the pool of low-income countries to become a lower-middle income country.
With these achievements, the country hopes to realise its vision of becoming a higher-middle income country by 2030 and eventually a high-income country by 2050.
Cambodia is also taking an active part in international affairs and is now sending its forces to serve in the UN peacekeeping operations in various countries. Cambodia was a recipient of UN peacekeeping forces during the days of turmoil.
The party also gradually stabilised the people’s living condition, though a large share of the population is still employed in subsistence farming.
According to the BBC, the economy is dominated by garment-making, but tourism is expanding, and Cambodia hopes to tap into offshore oil and gas reserves and draw in overseas investment to replace aid.
However, one of the main battles facing the Hun Sen’s regime is the level of corruption.
According to the Khmer Times, Prime Minister Hun Sen stated that his government had efficiently implemented new information technology systems to battle corruption. He said technology contributed a lot to the government’s battle against corruption and its administration reform.
Hun Sen also said that the reforms helped the government monitor “ghost” officials, referring to names of officials listed to get salaries but holding no real position.
“Now we are using information technology systems to control our civil servants”, he said. “We are using technology systems to fight against corruption”.
The premier added that tax revenue has also been improved through technology as all taxpayers can now make payments through the bank rather than to government officials who previously collected bribes.
To the credit of the CCP, election observers – national and international, assessed the recent pollings as genuinely free, fair, and just elections.
The international community would expect the further strengthening of the country’s foundations of democracy and socio-economic development in the long run.
The victory of the CPP in the fourth commune election and the fourth legislative senate election has guaranteed the party a firm base to score further victories in the forthcoming sixth National Assembly election, observers said./.