CPP Members Plot Strategy

Top CPP officials once again have urged their cadre to avoid vio­lence during the upcoming election campaign.

CPP members discussed that appeal and other campaign strategies at a party meeting Friday at the studios of Ap­sara TV in Phnom Penh, at­tended by more than 750.

Few details were disclosed about the meeting among top CPP officials and representatives. But Khieu Kanharith, secretary of state for Information, said the discussion included an appeal to CPP cadre not to be provoked in­to violence by the opposition. He said members were urged not to “fall into the trap, even if they are insulted in front of their face.”

A diplomat characterized the conference as a “secret meeting, mostly preparing for the upcoming elections, and instructions about the political campaign. It was an internal matter.”

Ith Sam Heng, CPP Cabinet director, declined comment Mon­day, referring questions to Khieu Kanharith.

Khieu Kanharith indicated the conference was to assess where the CPP still is weak, and to de­vise ways to strengthen those areas. Overall, he said, voter registration had been a big success.

The Khmer-language newspaper Kampuchea Thngay Nih (Cam­­­bodia Today) said issues of integration, political alliances and the role of the mon­archy as a symbol of na­tional unity also were discus­sed.

“They appealed to the NEC [National Election Committee], the Royal Government and all com­petent institutions to take measures to ensure safety…and free, just, transparent and non-violent elections,” the paper stated.

The opposition Khmer Con­science newspaper highlighted a conference report that it said assured continued payments to party officials and members to en­sure their loyalty. The newspaper claimed that Se­cond Prime Min­ister Hun Sen already has spent $10 million “buying votes.”

Observers conservatively have estimated that the CPP is spending about $2.5 million a month.

CPP officials have claimed at least 3 million members among the estimated 5.4 million voters.


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