… Since today is my first appearance after the commune elections I wish to make some clarifications. After the elections of the second-term commune councils the Royal Government of Cambodia is not going to make any changes at all. In some countries local elections could lead to changes in the local administration but for me I am to affirm that the current Royal Government led by CPP with Funcinpec as its partner will continue till the end of its term though Funcinpec has gone down to number four in this elections and even if Funcinpec is going to gain no further votes in the coming general elections in2008. Funcinpec is a trusted partner.
Through the local elections, CPP garners unprecedented votes. CPP broke records from previous elections. According to foreign press, CPP has received some 3.1 million votes over 5.1 million votes. It is the first time that CPP won support that is exceeding 3 million votes or 61% of the valid votes counted so far. We continue to maintain 98% of post of commune head and expanded our presence from 68% to 70%. Two other contested parties put together got 100,000 votes less than CPP. The gap between CPP with the second runner is 1.8 million votes and this shows that the second runner could not match with CPP like what happened between the Republicans and the Democrats in United States of America. The difference here is between 25% and 61%.
After the general elections in 2008, CPP also would not set up a monopoly government even though the above figure of its support could translate into 90 seats in the National Assembly which is exceeding both a two-third majority and 50 + 1 formula. CPP’s current 73 seats have put it in a winning position already according to 50 + 1 formula. But CPP believes in attracting intellectuals from all political tendencies to work together for the country’s sake.
With the presence of HE Ung Keng Yong, the General Secretary of ASEAN here, you all could recall how many countries in ASEAN 10 that have conflict and have peace. Ten years ago this country was still at war and divided into two parts. We have conducted elections throughout the country in 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004. We have brought this country to unity and this unity is hard to find.
There was a survey by an Institute that I do not have to disclose its name that there was a 79% response to a question whether Cambodia is on the right track. It is indeed a high rate of approval. In 2006, belief in the central Government was recorded at 73% and it has risen to 82% in January 2007. The Central administration is the leading institution of the country’s macro-economic and political stability. I did not appear in the campaign despite I am the head of the CPP campaign committee because 1) I have to maintain political stability and 2) to maintain macro-economic stability.
I have the pleasure to inform you that we have made a positive change of the situation of tax collection in elections period. It used to be that tax evasion activities are on high rise in the elections period, but this time we have made it. We have made an increase in tax collection that we never would have before. I am talking about custom duties and that does not include internal tax. Offenders used to commit crimes when the country is busy at its election period but the situation has changed almost totally in the 2007 elections. Tax evasion has been noticeably small.
Cash in our treasures in 2003 to 2007 is 100 times better or to put it in simple term in 2003 we have one in 2007 we have one hundred. This has ensured a stable exchange rate and guidance, the main topic of the forum today stands out to be very important./.