Prime Minister Wants No Politicking Outside Elections

Prime Minister Hun Sen complained Thursday that too much politicking has been going on outside of the several-week official campaign period leading up to an election and that laws should be made to penalize the activity.

Speaking at Phnom Penh’s Wat Botum Park, the premier said the CPP could legislate such penalties on its own.

“This time is not an election campaign. I think that we should make a law that whoever violates the time for election campaigns has to be penalized,” Mr. Hun Sen said.

“It doesn’t matter—50 plus one can approve a law at the moment.”

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy said Mr. Hun Sen has been as guilty of campaigning as anyone else recently but that it is a normal thing for a democracy.

“When you point a finger at somebody, there are four other fingers pointing at you. Who has been campaigning? You do politics as you breathe,” he said.

“Any politician when they speak, they have in mind gaining popularity. When you speak about how you would improve the current situation, it is campaigning. If you present an alternative, that is campaigning.”

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