CNRP Vice President Kem Sokha told supporters Monday that despite the opposition’s new culture of cooperation with the ruling CPP, the party was still working to unseat the “communist” government at the ballot box.
Speaking to supporters in Kompong Chhnang province, Mr. Sokha said CNRP faithful should not be confused by a new tone of friendliness between the country’s two major parties—illustrated this past week when CNRP President Sam Rainsy joined Prime Minister Hun Sen for a Khmer New Year celebration in Siem Reap City.
“Some brothers and sisters, during the latest phase of politics, have been confused and doubtful about the CNRP’s political destination,” Mr. Sokha said.
“Our destination is to rule the country,” he said. “Our goal is to change the leadership of Cambodia through accurate, free and fair elections.
“Do not be confused that the leaders are getting along well or we have changed. No, the CNRP keeps the same stance, but each party has its strategy and the strategy depends on the time and circumstances necessary to reach the goal we want,” he said.
“We need to know who we are, and we are democratic, and we need to know our competitor, and they are communist.”
As Mr. Hun Sen has recently made nice with Mr. Rainsy, the prime minister has taken the opposite tack toward Mr. Sokha, claiming that he intended to use mass demonstrations after the 2013 national election to illegally topple the government.
Chhim Phal Virun, a spokesman for the CPP, said that Mr. Sokha was finding himself increasingly isolated due to his refusal to participate in the new “culture of dialogue” between the ruling and opposition parties.
“Right now is the end of his political life in opposing what the CPP is doing, especially the culture of dialogue between Samdech Prime Minister and [CNRP] President Sam Rainsy,” Mr. Phal Virun said.
“Kem Sokha himself is panicking because the international and national public has abandoned him.”