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Cambodia’s Opposition Sees Lessons in DPP’s Win in Taiwan

Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party, DPP, presidential candidate, Tsai Ing-wen, waves as she declares victory in the presidential election in Taipei, Taiwan, Jan. 16, 2016.

The DPP’s use of social media to reach supporters was a major factor in winning the election.

A sweeping victory by Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party could hold lessons for Cambodia’s opposition.

One member of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, Kem Monovithya, took part as an election observer in Taiwan. She said the DPP’s use of social media to reach supporters was a major factor in its win.

Social media helped reach young people, who wanted a democratic party, which the former ruling party was not, she said.

The other lesson she took away was one of persistence, she said.

“The struggle for democracy is not easy. Sometimes we get it and it slips away, just like the DPP, which won an election and lost one and now has won again. We have to reform ourselves, too.”

The DPP and the Rescue Party are both members of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats, which has seen members take power in the Philippines, Indonesia, Burma and Taiwan.

“In the future, once the Rescue Party is in power, we’ll have better relationships with neighboring countries,” Kem Monovithya said. “We’ll have good relations with leaders in the region.”