Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha and the country’s ruling party clashed on Tuesday over the detained CNRP chief’s call for national unity and reconciliation, with a government spokesperson said that the country was united under the rule of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Writing on his Facebook page, Kem Sokha – president of the banned Cambodia National Rescue Party – says that only national unity and reconciliation can move Cambodia forward to improve people’s lives, protect national sovereignty. and revive the country’s economy – which is currently weakening due to the closure of the spread of COVID-19.
“Now is not the time to divide Cambodia to serve [political] ambitious, ”wrote Kem Sokha on the eve of the Khmer New Year’s April 14-16, adding,“ Unity brings happiness, division brings sadness. Unity brings survival, division brings death. Unity brings strength, division brings weakness.
Speaking to RFA’s question, government spokesman Phay Siphan said Cambodia does not need to “unite” because there is no division or war in the Southeast Asian nation, which is now more dominated by Hun Sen. 36 years.
“I don’t see any division [in Cambodia], ”Said Phay Siphan. “I only see people who break the law and do not respect the law.”
“Kem Sokha has violated the law, and his case is currently in court, so the court should be allowed to handle his case,” he said.
The Supreme Court of Cambodia dissolved the National Rescue Party of Cambodia (CNRP) in November 2017 and banned its members from participating in political activities, two months after the arrest of party chairman Kem Sokha for His role was in an alleged conspiracy to overthrow Hun Sen’s government.
The ban, coupled with a broader crackdown on non-governmental organizations and independent media, paved the way for Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) to gain all. 125 seats in the country’s 2018 general election.
In a New Year’s speech on April 8, Hun Sen praised himself for the widely-popular opposition party’s ban, saying the group sought to show chaos in the country. Meanwhile, observers urged both sides to pursue political reconciliation in the interests of the nation.
Also told RFA, social development analyst Meas Ny said there is no sign that Cambodia’s political divisions will be reconciled anytime soon. The division in Cambodia is real and goes back to ancient times, he said.
“We still argue to this day. We’re not done yet, ”he said.
Call to accept the Chinese vaccine
Meanwhile, acting CNRP chairman Sam Rainsy and Prime Minister Hun Sen clashed this week over the opposition leader April 11’s call for Cambodians to accept the Chinese-made COVID vaccine. Export – many in Cambodia do not trust – for its effectiveness in controlling the spread of the epidemic, with Hun Sen arguing the claim was politically motivated.
“He has a different agenda, and that’s urging people to rush to get vaccinated at the same time!” Hun Sen said.
Speaking to RFA on April 13, Sam Rainsy said he never told people not to take the Chinese-made vaccine.
“But I compared the quality of each vaccine from the US, UK, Russia and China based on studies conducted by international organizations and I found that the quality of Chinese vaccines was lower than that of China. American and British say.
“However, in our current circumstances, since we don’t have enough vaccines, we should accept any vaccine, even if it is only 50% or 70% effective. This is better than getting nothing ”.
“That’s why I urge everyone not to wait any longer,” he said.
Cambodia kicked off its campaign to vaccinate at least 10 million of its 16 million people in February, and as of April 12, 1,099,811 Cambodians had been vaccinated with either a Chinese-made Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccine, or UK’s AstraZeneca vaccine is based in India, according to Cambodia’s ministry. Health.
As of April 13, Cambodia had recorded 4,696 COVID-19 positive cases, of which 2,252 were treated and discharged, 2,406 are currently receiving medical treatment and 33 have died. , The Ministry of Health said.
Reported by RFA’s Khmer Language Service. Translation by Sok Ry Sum and Sovannarith Keo. Written in English by Richard Finney.