PM Appoints Stalwart to Monitor ‘Culture of Dialogue’

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday appointed a CPP stalwart to monitor the ongoing “culture of dialogue” between the ruling party and the opposition CNRP, and said that even low-level officials should be careful not to use inflammatory rhetoric.

Speaking at a ground-breaking ceremony for the new National Road 55 in Pursat province, Mr. Hun Sen said that, despite the CNRP’s professed commitment to maintaining the culture of dialogue, there was still a need to scour the opposition ranks to ensure that there was mutual respect, mutual loyalty, no insults and no intimidation.

“But we can still be victimized by insults, so we need to look to the lower level to see whether they keep insulting, [saying] ‘Vietnamese head with Cambodian body’ or ‘a communist’ or ‘dictator,’” Mr. Hun Sen said.

The premier added that he had appointed CPP Secretary-General Say Chhum to “advise and examine” the issue. CNRP Vice President Kem Sokha raised the ire of the ruling party when he used the word “communist” to describe its leadership last month.

In a tour of eastern provinces last week, however, Mr. Sokha and CNRP President Sam Rainsy pledged to tone down their rhetoric.

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