… I think (the approval by the National Assembly of the new national election committee) is a victory of the whole Cambodian nation and it reflects a positive cooperation between the two main political parties with seats in the National Assembly. It is indeed a message to the people of Cambodia that the general elections will be held on July 27, 2003 according to schedule with a new National Election Committee. It may be a warning that any boycotting attempts would not gain any interest… We were seeking for 50% + 1 or 62 votes in favor, but the National Assembly have provided us an overwhelming confidence – more than two thirds of the votes.
… With regard to the financial assistance needed for the 2003 elections, HE Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng will proceed after the new National Election Committee’s members have been adopted. HE Sar Kheng will collaborate with the UNDP Cambodia’s field representative Dominique McAdam to organize meetings with donor countries, the European Union inclusive, while we have to draft the election expenses… According to our calculation we may spend less than the amount used in the 1998 elections and the commune election in early 2002. It is because we may not need to take photos of voters, which could be very costly. Also we may not have to print new voting identity card because we could use identity card or any sort of document that can be identifying voters defined by law.
… I think that the present environment is different from what we had in the 20th century. We are now in the 21st century, and our people are optimistic and confident that the collaboration of the two parties in the Royal Government would give them peace and security. Our people are well aware of this… The two parties in the Royal Government have been doing a good job in the National Assembly. Today’s event has shown that they have taken responsibility before the people… With regard to security, we could say that we have been doing a lot. From 1998 up to the present, we have confiscated and destroyed over 10,000 pieces of rifles. This would hopefully be cutting down violence.
… What is promising is that our people have been accustomed to democracy better than in 1998 and earlier. They are more accustomed in the last five years. We may compare the democratic process in Cambodia to a youngster and this would not reverse. I think it is the wish of the international community that Cambodia sustains its democratic process. So what we are waiting for is that the international community continues to provide us with assistance as we are in short of financial resource.
… I used to mention that the current Government was born with the help of two midwives – Japan and the European Union. I think that for the third-term Government, we will have more midwives to help with the third legislative elections. How much one would offer is one thing, but what is clear is that the whole amount needed this time would be less than before. Therefore I am confident that we will have support.
… Over the past months there have been so many exploitative interpretation on issue of who would be the candidate for the post of Prime Minister. I would like to stress publicly that the Cambodian People’s Party has no candidate other than Hun Sen for this position. It may be otherwise only if Hun Sen withdraws or dies. May other parties, especially the opposition party, be clear on this matter and be prepared for any split in one’s own party rather than being involved with our affairs. I am quite concerned that they spend most of their time to introduce a split within the Cambodian People’s Party and to spend less time to manage their own parties. We have observed defections here and there. So my recommendation is that all parties should reserve more time to manage and to strengthen their own parties rather than to seek to destroy CPP.
… Let me reaffirm that the CPP’s Chairman will always be Samdech Chea Sim, as long as he is alive and Hun Sen will be Deputy Chairman, as long as I am alive. The same is true for the position of Prime Minister, as long as Hun Sen is alive. No one would have an ambition to take over this position at all if Hun Sen does not walk out. I am sure that some people in the opposition party wanted to replace me in this post. So please do not put the blame on my CPP.