Opposition leader Sam Rainsy has launched his campaign to raise $3 million for the CNRP’s new television station by appealing to Cambodian expatriates in Canada to purchase $1,000 shares in the company once they go on sale later this month.
Mr. Rainsy is on a tour of France, Canada and the U.S. to raise funds for what would be Cambodia’s first opposition-aligned television station, and told supporters in Toronto on Sunday that the CNRP needs their financial support.
“For this television station, our party does not have much money like the others,” Mr. Rainsy says in a video distributed online on Tuesday that shows him speaking in a gymnasium to a crowd of about 100 people.
“It’s blood-and-sweat money, not corrupted [money], not from stealing from the nation and destroying the nation,” Mr. Rainsy says, in an apparent reference to the CPP, which he has long accused of illegitimate fundraising.
“This television station will not be the station of the CNRP but will be the station of Cambodians,” Mr. Rainsy says. “We need at least $3 million, and this $3 million will be divided into 3,000 shares which will each cost $1,000.”
In the video, Mr. Rainsy says he believes it will be easy to raise the money if both opposition supporters in Cambodia and Cambodians living abroad purchase shares when they become available.
“When I return to Phnom Penh, I will make an announcement to all CNRP branches worldwide, like in Canada…to ask the CNRP representatives to give information to our brothers and sisters who wish to buy shares, since it only costs $1,000,” the opposition leader says.
Television media in the country are presently dominated by stations either aligned with the CPP or friendly to the ruling party. Prime Minister Hun Sen pledged that the CNRP would be allowed to launch a station as part of the July 22 political deal that ended the opposition’s boycott of parliament over the disputed results of the 2013 national election.