The Cambodian People’s Party has begun to identify supporters and dissenters of the party nationwide, categorizing them by the amount of support they give in apparent preparation for the next national elections, according to documents and officials.
The CPP has ordered government officials to identify constituents by three levels of support: white, grey and black. Those who are most supportive of the party in different communes are labeled “white;” the least are labeled “black.”
According to a CPP Phnom Penh committee order dated Sept. 14, 2009, party members are asked to list “CPP families,” “other party families,” and “activists of other parties.” Members are also asked to count the number of people in villages and mark them as white, grey or black.
The document orders party members to “do whatever we can do” to change black to grey and grey to white. It orders the deputy and chief of commune councils to strengthen their teams and organize a clear plan to carry out the order.
The order was signed by Krouch Phan, former governor of Phnom Penh’s Dangkao district.
“This classification of people is an internal rule of the ruling party,” Krouch Phan told VOA Khmer on Wednesday, declining to give more detail.
Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said Wednesday the classification was not for individuals but was for different areas to help campaigning for the upcoming national elections in 2013.
He said the Phnom Penh committee order could have been the work of a lower-ranking member who did not understand the upper directive.
Meanwhile, the CPP is also preparing a youth “quick action” group to counter what it says is negative propaganda in Kampong Thom province.
“We’ve selected the youth reaction group in order to educate the youth to know about morality and to know about the policies of the ruling party,” said Nam Tum, former governor of the province and the current head of the provincial committee for the party. “They will help the ruling party in the national election in 2013.”