Election: Western Countries Express Regret but Committed to Work with Cambodia

Western nations recognise that the CPP won the 7th general election, held on July 23, though they don’t accept that it was democratic. Statements by these development partners seem cautious. Knowing the likely result in advance, Western nations criticise Cambodia for democratic shortcomings but are willing to help fix them. Friends Sothie and Samnang try to analyse the meaning of the western nations’ reaction.

Sothie: So, what do you think about the reaction of the western countries? No need to mention China, of course.

Samnang: I know exactly what you are thinking. Cambodia and the western countries have had a sensitive relationship for quite some time. I do not really think that their reaction is something new. Cambodia knows in advance that they will say the election is neither free nor fair due to the absence of the opposition party and the restriction on press.

Sothie: Just like us, they surely know what the result would be. That is the reason why, at the beginning of the statement, they all share the same words expressing regrets. However, in the following paragraphs, they also share common words which shows their intention to continue working with the new Cambodian government. Some statements put it very clearly that they will work with the new government of Cambodia even though they know that it is the Cambodian People’s Party of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Samnang: You are right. It reminds me of a saying that goes “There are neither foes nor friends. Just interests”.

Sothie: Then, you should try to read more. Some nations release statements criticising the election in the morning but announce offering aid in the evening.

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