Analysis by Anonymous
|The toppling of another notorious dictator who had outlived his sell-by date - School of Vice|
‘Even with cheating, Hun Sen could only see the decline of the momentum of his party, the CPP. When he finally falls, it will be a head smash with no support at all.’
Prime Minister Hun Sen had made some mistakes in the earlier pre-election speech that has not resonated well among Cambodians. First he blamed late former King Norodom Sihanouk for giving the land and the islands to Vietnam. Many older- generation voters who still love the Ex-king do not agree with the Prime Minister and has expressed dismay towards the Prime Minister’s statement. Even the former Khmer Rouge commanders, who are still in charge of some portions of the military, are getting disenchanted with the Prime Minster. People in uniforms - police and military - began to think that Prime Minster Hun Sen is giving too much sway to the Vietnamese by attacking the Ex-king, who is already dead and is no longer in a position to defend himself against the charge. They know that during the Khmer Rouge Regime the [said] territory was under their direct control.
The Prime Minister also criticized Sinn Sisamouth for writing a few anti-Sihanouk songs during the Cambodian Civil War. What the prime minister was trying to tell the public is that not only was he [Sisamouth] attacking the Ex-King, but the famous singer was also attacking him. Again, many older generation voters, who still love Sinn Sisamouth, now begin to think twice about voting for the Prime Minister. Cambodian people understand that during the civil war both sides had created songs pointing a finger at each other as the bad guy. Nowadays, no one would care to sing those songs any more. It’s history. There’s no need for the Prime Minister to bring them up just to try to score a few points. He’s certainly poking at old wounds.
To make matters worse, he threatened that if he did not win the election, there will be another civil war. Again, this statement did not resonate well among the military and police. They think the Prime Minister is out of his mind. Many of these officers have allowed or have turned their blind eyes towards the Opposition moving deeper inside CPP territory. Some of these officers even take off their uniforms to march alongside the opposing party. The people in uniforms have viewed Vietnamese taking advantage of Cambodia and exploiting Cambodia through the Prime Minister’s open arms policy towards Vietnam. This election is marking the beginning of an end to Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Having thus made so many mistakes in his speech at this time of pre-election, he has then decided to remain silent and has allowed instead the media (TV and radio stations) to conduct the campaign for him. Again, it’s a big mistake. A boat without a captain is doomed.
What the Prime Minister needs to do now is to talk about the future, not the past. He should appear to voters, especially young voters, to tell them what he would like to accomplish in the next five years and how he would fix the problems of the people who had been evicted from their homes, instead of viewing them as his enemies. He needs to approach them as friends and, as prime minister of all Cambodians whether or not they agree with him.
And last but not least, the Prime Minister needs to stop giving too much endowment to the Vietnamese and put restrictions on the Vietnamese migrants. These actions would gain more support from those in uniforms. This election is not about how many roads and how many bridges get built. It’s about the future, the new beginning, the fresh start. If Prime Minister Hun Sen fails to realize these issues, his party would only get weaker and weaker. Even with cheating, he could only see the decline of the momentum of his party, the CPP. When he finally falls, it will be a head smash with no support at all.