Letter to the Editor: Daring to Discuss a Transition of Power Here in Cambodia

In “Rainsy Threatens to ‘Crush’ Election Holdouts; Analysts Scoff,” (December 19), I did raise a very sensitive—if not taboo—issue: that related to the dreadful prospect of the ruling CPP not accepting an election defeat in 2018 and forcibly clinging to power by dispatching the opposition CNRP.

—Letter to the Editor—

In their comments as quoted by The Cambodia Daily, some analysts argue that the issue of the CPP having one day to relinquish power is too “sensitive” to be raised or that it is too “soon” to raise it now because it may be seen as a “provocation.” The underlying reproach those analysts make to me is that I am not being “careful,” too “proud” and totally unrealistic when considering a transfer of power at this point.

Everybody seems to be so fascinated and impressed by the CPP’s totalitarian power and its political gesticulation that nobody dares seriously consider any possibility of a transfer of power following a relatively democratic election resulting in a victory for the opposition CNRP. Extrapolating past trends and projecting them into the future, all those often-quoted “analysts” and “experts” seem to be resigned—or intellectually and cowardly complacent—to the idea of the CPP remaining in power forever.

After the July 28, 2018, national elections, a smooth and peaceful transition remains my objective and, I would say, my obsession. On countless occasions I have stated that, when the CNRP comes to power, we will launch a sincere and genuine appeal for national reconciliation and unity. There will be no political retributions and no witch-hunts.

The new and legitimate CNRP-led government will treat with dignity all CPP members or former members and will offer them real opportunities to participate in the achievement of a true, inclusive and equitable development for Cambodia.

Therefore, the first portion of your article’s title, “Rainsy Threatens to ‘Crush’ Election Holdouts,” is misleading because it only corresponds to the worst-case scenario in the context of a more general presentation.

Sam Rainsy
CNRP President

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