OPPOSITION HOPES TO END HUN SEN’S RULE
Cambodia National Rescue Party eyes bellwether local polls next month
TUK-TUKS blaring pop music and flag-waving supporters of Cambodia’s embattled opposition led a rally yesterday for upcoming elections, a bellwether for efforts to end the threedecade rule of strongman Hun Sen in next year’s national polls.
The June 4 vote in more than 1,600 communes will take the political temperature ahead of a general election next year that is expected to go to the wire.
The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) is desperate to end Hun Sen’s rule, which they say is increasingly corrupt and repressive.
But the party has been squarely outmaneuvered by the wily premier, who pegs himself as a stabilising force in country still recovering from the horrors of the genocidal Khmer Rouge-era.
His Cambodia People’s Party (CPP) draws the loyalty of older agency said.
The agency said the fire might have been caused by a short circuit in one of the trucks carried on board. Cambodians, who fear political change could reopen wounds.
The rival CNRP has been hemmed in by legal cases since losing a disputed 2013 general election by a whisker.
Addressing thousands of opposition supporters at a rally here yesterday, CNRP leader Kem Sokha said political change was on the horizon.
“We have travelled through obstacles, rainstorms and lightning... but the CNRP has managed to survive and is stepping forward,” he said to cheers from the supporters, many with CNRP
Rescuers have evacuated 141 people and recovered five bodies, the local chief of the search and rescue agency, Mochammad Arifin, said. stickers on their cheeks.
A strong showing by the CNRP in the polls would send “shockwaves” through the ruling party, according to Sebastian Strangio, an expert on local politics.
“The CPP risks losing control of a lower level of government that they have controlled since the fall of the Khmer Rouge in 1979,” he added.
Conversely weak support for the CNRP could spell disaster in next year’s national vote.
The CPP held a rival rally in the capital, which also drew thousands. AFP
In January, 23 local tourists were killed when a fire erupted in a boat carrying hundreds of revellers to an island north of the capital to celebrate the New Year. AFP
Smoke rising from a burning ferry in waters off East Java province yesterday.
Supporters of Cambodia National Rescue Party gathering during an election campaign in Phnom Penh yesterday.