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Hun Sen Mocks Opponents Who He Claims Seek to Undermine Cambodia’s Development


Prime Minister Hun Sen greets garment workers during a visit to a factory outside of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017. Hun Sen embarked on a country-wide trip to visit the nation's factory workers to hear their hopes and concerns in person. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

More than 700,000 Cambodians work in the garment sector, making it a key battleground for votes between Cambodia’s two major parties.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday touted his government’s development achievements and accused his opponents of seeking to undermine Cambodia’s successes.

During a gathering of thousands of garment workers in Phnom Penh, Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party had encouraged investment and opened the Cambodian economy to garment exports.

The premier mocked the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, calling it the “three nos group”, insinuating the CNRP was against donors, investment, and trade.

“The ‘three nos group’ is only there to destroy your benefits. No donations, no investment, and no buying products from Cambodia,” he said.

He sought to describe the forthcoming general election as a choice between the “three nos” and “three yes”, referring to the CPP.

The meeting with garment workers on Wednesday was part of the prime minister’s recently announced campaign to woo the workers ahead of next year’s election.

More than 700,000 Cambodians work in the garment sector, making it a key battleground for votes between Cambodia’s two major parties.

Earlier last month, Hun Sen in a similar meeting with workers announced he would ensure that the minimum wage in the sector was raised by at least $15 to $168 per month.

In January 2014, after months of strikes that turned violent, government forces shot dead at least five people, leaving much more injured.

Hun Sen on Wednesday suggested that the former leader of the CNRP, Sam Rainsy, whom he labeled the “boss of protests”, had only instigated workers to protest to cause instability with the end goal of unseating the CPP.

His comments came after Rainsy posted a video on his Facebook page where he claimed that the political situation in Cambodia was at its lowest point since 1993.

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