Election Year T-Shirt Sales Don’t Size Up

Stitch for stitch, the Feb 3 commune council elections are not measuring up to the national elections of 1993 and 1998, say T-shirt sellers.

T-shirts bearing political slogans are only half as popular in this election as they were in 1993 and 1998, said Lap Phally, the owner of the Silk Screen Printing Shop on Norodom Boulevard.

“It was a huge business during the election campaigns of 1993 and 1998,” she said. “I think the political parties seem poorer. Some party members tried to bargain for a lower price this year.”

The 53-year-old shop owner said the CPP hired her shop to print 70,000 shirts, while Fun­cinpec asked for 20,000 T-shirts. The Sam Rainsy Party printed 5,000 shirts at her shop. No other political parties asked for shirts, she said.

During the 1993 elections, 31 political parties hired her shop to print nearly 400,000 shirts, she said. Twenty parties bought nearly 300,000 shirts in 1998.

“I don’t care which parties they are. They are all good clients for my shop,” Lap Phally said. The political T-shirt business is one of her best, along with Water Fes­tival shirts.

Sareth Sokhunmariya, 18, whose father owns Bailey’s Silk Screen Co Ltd, said the shop has enjoyed working for all three major political parties. The shop recently printed 200 shirts and 10 flags for the CPP and 1,000 shirts for the Sam Rainsy Party. The shop charges $0.52 per shirt and $10 per flag, she said.

Por Setha, an assistant at Ban­teay Srei Printing, said the CPP has printed more than 10,000 shirts and Funcinpec more than 5,000. The first-year shop owner said he’s happy with the business created by the political campaign.

Khau Meng Heang, secretary of state for the Ministry of Interior, visited a printing shop Tuesday. He said he has spent $5,000 of his own money to print thousands of T-shirts for the Funcinpec campaign in Kom­pong Cham province.

Eng Chhay Eang, secretary-general for the Sam Rainsy Party, said they will print 40,000 shirts. He estimated the Sam Rainsy Party would spend $500,000 on the campaign.







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