Message Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Decision of the Supreme Court to Dissolve the Cambodian National Rescue Party


[Unofficial Translation]


Esteemed Buddhist Monks and Compatriots,

Today I have the need to deliver a message to our compatriots. As you are aware, today the Supreme Court delivered its decision on the dissolution of CNRP. After the liberation on 7 January 1979, with supports of our Buddhist monks and compatriots, through the government of the People’s Republic of Kampuchea, and then State of Cambodia, we have made great efforts to rebuild the country from scratch. We also sought to resolve the Cambodian issue through ending war and conducting negotiations.

We have realized with success our win-win policy to bring our country full peace and national unity. As time passed, world and regional situations have changed. However, the Cambodian People’s Party adheres steadfastly its historic mission to share both joys and hardships with our people in all circumstances. We have continued with national reconciliation policy and national unity to gather together force of solidarity, hereby to guarantee independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. We have made efforts to promote socio-economic development to reduce poverty. We continue to be determined for democracy by organizing regularly national and sub-national elections.

Based upon these developments, the Supreme Court has delivered its decision to dissolve CNRP and forbid their leaders from political activities in accordance with rule of law. On behalf of the executive body, the Royal Government declares its support for the decision taken by the Supreme Court, which will guarantee continued safeguarding of lasting peace, stability, independence, sovereignty, and continued sustainable and equitable socio-economic development.

It is in this respect, the Royal Government appeals to our compatriots to exercise calm and participate in implementing the Supreme Court’s decision to continue safeguarding peace, political stability, security, social order, and rule of law in Cambodia. At the same time, the Royal Government continues its determination in defending process of liberal pluralism, democracy, and rule of law in conformity with the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The forthcoming elections will proceed under organization by the National Elections Committee, which is an independent institution. The Senate elections will take place on 25 February 2018, and the general elections will take place on 29 July 2018.

Everyone knows there are not only two political parties in Cambodia. We have dozens of them. In absence of one political party, many more parties will contest in those elections. Though CNRP is dissolved, its former members and activists, except a number of their leaders prohibited by court from five-year political activities, will continue to have full rights according to the Constitution. You can either create a new political party or join with anyone party you may wish to. We are delivering here our appreciation and thanks for members and senior officials of the CNRP in the National Assembly, the municipal councils, provincial, district, commune councillors, activists, who have decided to join with the Cambodian People’s Party to guarantee unity and solidarity to serve better our people in the local areas.

Taking this opportunity, I keep my appeal open for commune, provincial, district councillors (of CNRP) in the whole country to make their decisions in the remaining time of two weeks after the dissolution of CNRP and redistribution of its seats. Should you wish to participate in and continue to work as commune heads, assistants, commune, district, provincial, and/or municipal councillors, you are still welcome.

As President of the Cambodian People’s Party, I seek understanding from President of the CPP committees at municipal, provincial, district, and commune levels to organize and facilitate those people’s participations and reinstatements of their positions. This is to offer you chances to serve people under the umbrella of the Cambodian People’s Party. You may not see this facilitation as attempt to purchase (you). We have not gotten money to do so. We just wish to offer you chances to continue working and serving people.

On 3 November, while we were organizing water festival, I also said from here about the same issue. Some had rebuked me and assured that there would be no dissolution of CNRP. The time has come. The Supreme Court decision allows no protest. There is no more CNRP in Cambodia. My appeal in this moment is to offer chances to those elected junior officials to continue to serve people as they may wish to. This is not to seek to purchase you or your ideals. When you cannot even save yourselves, how could you save the party? You need to save yourselves to help serve people. That is what you have wanted to do, is not it?

I have the information that some commune councillors have hidden themselves in various places. Please do not feel concerned. I also urge those of you who may not wish to join the Cambodian People’s Party to sort out your remaining affairs – like stamp and/or concerned financial issues. I am telling you this because leaving without resolving these issues would lead to incriminate you in other cases concerning dereliction of responsibilities and/or state properties at local areas.

I wish to reassert that we are not after you. What happened are leaders’ wrongdoings. Their mistakes have brought about punishment, and also dissolution of a political party. That has also resulted in dangers and loss of jobs for you at the junior levels. I just wanted you to continue your works. You may not want to sell your ideals and we have no need to buy them. I just warn you not to try to create more crimes through illegal activities of any kinds. I hope that our people continue to keep calm to continue to do whatever is necessary for your livelihood, your family, and cultivation. We are determined to continue with democracy and liberal pluralism with the Senate elections and the general elections are on the way.

We also seek to inform our foreign and international friends that we are implementing our country’s law. No matter whatever may happen, we hope that some of them would not resort to conduct actions they did in the past to support Lon Nol and to bring down Preah Norodom Sihanouk, leaving Cambodia in disaster. They had at a later stage continued to give supports at the United Nations to the Khmer Rouge, who did us further destructions. I hope that they would not repeat what happened in the past. The Cambodian people are aware and wise enough to exercise responsible self-determination in its affairs for the country’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, security, peace, political stability, social order, and development.

We hope that our beloved people who have joined the Cambodian People’s Party in the past 40 years will benefit from continued peace and political stability. Once again, I may take this opportune moment to appeal to our people to continue to do their daily works and keep calm, while refraining from illegal actions. I am calling on leaders, members of CNRP, whom the Supreme Court’s decision does not prohibit from political rights to continue to carry out their political actions either by affiliating with the Cambodian People’s Party, or to join other parties, and/or to create a new political party as they wish. This is space of freedom, freedom of expression and democratic process in Cambodia. There is no restriction. Restriction and court procedure are for illegal actions, including those treacherous acts.

I thank our Buddhist monks and compatriots very much for your attention./.