[With thanks to the reader who provided this alternative translation - School of Vice]
by School of Vice
Cambodia’s parliamentary Opposition led by the Cambodia National Rescue Party is taking a step in the right direction by calling for reform of the NEC; a body set up to oversee the election process. The recently merged main opposition party [consisting of hitherto two major political parties in the SRP and HRP] has given itself renewed vigour and momentum, and a positive dynamic springboard for further expansion and growth as the nation’s alternative to, and perhaps, the only hope, for positive change in Cambodia.
These developments are also crucial in context of widening not only the party’s electoral appeal as reflected in its readiness to work and operate as an effective unified movement, but also in terms of signalling forth a more serious credible image to the outside world whose vested diplomatic and economic stakes in the country can still tilt the balance decisively in the Opposition’s favour, and hopefully, through that channel, affect change in the lives of millions and the fate of a much maligned nation with a long history of misrules, external manipulations and interventions in its internal affairs.
The Opposition as such is not without its own faults and weaknesses; the leadership personalities at its executive level are made up of competent and, in the main, studious, educated and honest individuals whose views and sentiments can be said to be far more measured and humanitarian, and are thus more conducive to the task of national leadership in relevant fields, by means of comparison to their ruling counterparts and or their qualities and attributes.
However, this small body of leaders has been presented with obstacles arising not only from its vicious and cunning adversaries [who only play by their own rules], but more worryingly also from its rank-and-file who are straddling ill-defined boundaries between two seemingly diametrically opposed worlds or political cultures. Sometime ago I wrote a short piece about the need for mobilisation and organisation and stressed the importance of building the movement as a holistic force from the grass-roots up. I understand this process could well take years to realise, but it cannot be completed any sooner by not giving it the attention and urgency it is calling out for. Once a strong, disciplined and unified movement is in place it will offer the party a whole new complexion: a trump card and bargaining chip of real substance and weight that will be impossible to ignore; something the party can deploy to its own advantage and political gains within even a relatively peaceful yet affirmative and exertive context.
The forth-coming election may well result in the Opposition winning a few more parliamentary seats while the electoral reform being called for remains unchanged. Yet as long as the ruling party feels that conceding these few seats to the opposition camp will not have changed the electoral formulae that guarantees its regular sweeping resumption of power every four years or so, and as long as enough Opposition MPs are able to cling on to their posts and seen to be making the right noises without the mandate or the legislative power to enact those voices, then this ruling party will be more than happy to play along.