Editorial | Articles about Cambodia | Khmer

Friday, July 25, 2008

Immigration & Elction in Cambodia


July 14th, 2008 (khmer mchas srok )


The upcoming election in Cambodia is just a pretext for the Cambodian People Party-CPP (which has been installed by Vietnam) to deceive the international community with its sham democratic regime.

1. The first term election in 1993 (1993-1998)- UNTAC : the coup d'état on July 5th and 6th 1997

Only the election organized and governed by UNTAC in 1993 had a reasonable democratic system acceptable to the Cambodian people. This election clearly demonstrated the desire of the Cambodian people to reject the CPP and choose the FUNCINPEC. But the CPP did not concede the official result and used military force to segregate the country into two parts. To keep the peace, there was a compromise for Cambodia to have two Prime Ministers to share the power and to lead a government with an elective term from 1993 to 1998.

To avoid the loss of any more elections, the CPP has been taking the measures in using all means to control the electoral system through the National Electoral Committee (NEC) where the majority of its members are from the CPP. The NEC is responsible for:
  • Ascertaining rules for the national election,
  • Taking care of the electoral rolls,
  • Organizing the election,
  • Declaring the election result.
To manage the electoral rolls, the CPP has to stay alone in power. To achieve this, the CPP plotted and executed a coup on July 5th and 6th 1997 to topple the legitimately elected Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh from the FUNCINPEC, one year before the second election had scheduled. At the same time they also eliminated many opposition parties and Khmer patriots.

2. The second term election in 1998 (1998-2003): the great demonstration in October 1998 had ended with a tragic bloodshed

When the second term election was due in 1998, the CPP had rearranged the electoral rolls by deleting opposition's names from the list because most of them had to hide in the country and some of them had to seek asylum in Thailand to escape from all sorts of brutality and all sorts of threats after the coup d'état of 1997. In addition, the irregularity of the electoral rolls had suddenly jumped up enormously over the normal increase in the growth rate of population. The increased numbers in the electoral rolls during the second term election in 1998 was invented by the CPP leaders to allow Vietnamese immigrants to enter into Cambodia, assimilate with the Cambodia population in order to vote for them.

According to the population's statistic in Asia published by UNESCAP, the figures show:

  • In 1996, Cambodia had a population of 10,968,000 people
  • In 1997, Cambodia population had risen to 11,237,000 people, it had increased to 260,000 people per year with the growth rate of 2.4 %
  • In 1998, Cambodia population had suddenly risen to 12,186,000 people; it had increased to 949,000 people per year with the growth rate of 8.44 %. Four times the normal rate. These figures substantiate around 680,000 Vietnamese immigrants had settled in Cambodia in 1998, for the sole purpose of enabling the CPP to win the election that year. The CPP take over the rights of the Khmer people who are already aware of their deception.
  • In 1999, Khmer population had risen to 12,450,000 people it had increased to 264,000 people per year with the growth rate of 2.16 % as it was back to the normal rate.

The arrival of Vietnamese immigrants in Cambodia until present time has been supported by the illegal treaty signed in 1983 which has been endorsed by the government.

The treaty was designed to give a lawful access to the Vietnamese living at the Cambodia-Vietnam border to bring their relatives to come and live with them in Cambodia.

The second election in 1998, the national and international community was entirely manipulated by the CPP who operated with absolute power to abuse every section of the Cambodia's constitution for returning to their ruling power. The opposition was eliminated by using tactics of killing, intimidating and threatening all political activists. Many of them were killed, tortured, imprisoned and suffered a great deal beyond imagination as we the Khmer people have witnessed so far.
Their running campaign, the counting of paper ballots, declaring of victory and their abusive actions to the opposition groups, these acts are unlawful, against justice and democratic principles. Consequently, during the second term election in 1998, there was a demonstration in October against the falsehood of paper ballots which ended with tragic bloodshed.

3. The third term election in 2003 (2003-2008) : "the packaged election" is the constitutional coup in 2004, signatory of the complementary of the 1985 treaty to be enforceable, in October 2005:
At every election, the CPP has always made difficult for the opposition groups and for the poor and disadvantaged people to enroll.

Normally, at the election 2003, this term, Cambodia should have been able to implement a democratic election process because the CPP had already run a full term government (1998-2003). In the contrary, the CPP, the former Communist Party, did not at all perform the democratic way.

In 2003, although the CPP had won the majority of the votes in the National Assembly, Mr. Hun Sen was not sure that he would be the Prime Minister elected. So, they did not abide by the Constitution of the country and they prevented the formation of new government. As a result, there was a constitutional coup in 2004 to force the amendment of the constitution, without a referendum. This amendment permitted the CPP to stay in the power by using the "Packaged Election" system to elect, at the same time, the Prime Minister and the President of the Parliament which is incompatible with the principle of the separation of the legislative, executive and judicial powers.

While the CPP continued to lead the government, he signed in October 2005 the Supplementary Treaty to the Treaty on the Delimitation of State Border of 1985, which had automatically converted the 1979, 1982, 1983 and 1985 treaties to become the legitimate treaties. The CPP was seriously condemned by the students, civil servants and all Khmers who opposed this signature which gave up Khmer lands and seas to Vietnam. This prompted the arrest and imprisonment of civil activists who dared to oppose them.

The signature on the Supplementary Treaty to the Treaty on the Delimitation of State Border of 1985 has given legitimate rights to the Vietnamese immigrants who have settled in provinces along the borders allowing them to bring their families to come and live in Cambodia.

In addition, the CPP had approved in 2003, the establishment of 19 Vietnamese Associations (there are 57 Vietnamese Associations to date) in Cambodia. The Bylaws of these associations have clearly stated "every member of the Vietnamese Associations is granted the right to live and bring their family members to Cambodia".

In the third term election (2003-2008), the constitutional coup of 2004 was the explicit actions to enhance the Vietnamese immigrants to have been legitimately settled in Cambodia and convert the 5 million settlers to become Khmer citizens, some of them to be as in high profile and prominent persons, e.g. lords, ladies, senators, Yeay Phoo and Sok Kong etc.

From 2003 to 2008, the CPP has reinforced the expansion and strengthened the Vietnamese presence in Cambodia.
4. The fourth term election 2008 (2008-2013), do Khmer have sovereignty?

Looking into the collaboration between the Vietnamese settlers and the CPP, and their movement for the past 15 years, we can draw the conclusion that in this election term, the CPP will be salvaged by the 5 million Vietnamese settlers who are their saviors and the CPP doesn't need to make any effort to win this election.

It is estimated about 1,906,888 Vietnamese immigrants who are registered among the 8,125,529 people with the legal right to vote in 2008. This calculates on UNTAC 1993's figures, the NEC's figures and the figures of Cambodia's National Institute of Statistic:

1. -There are 23 % of Vietnamese immigrants who are registered to vote among people with the legal rights to vote, according to the NEC figures (1,906.000/8.125.641)
2. -There are 30 % of Vietnamese immigrants who are registered to vote among people with the legal rights to vote, according to the UNTAC figures (1,906,888/6,318,641)

NOTE: the above estimated figures do not include the 2 million Vietnamese who came to Cambodia before UNTAC and have been granted Cambodian citizenship in 1993.

NEC's figures
Figure estimated 5 years later
Figure estimates 10 years later
Figure estimates 15 years later

The UNTAC figures in 1993 had 4,764,430 15 years later (2008), based on the growth rate of 1.9 %, the number of the people who have the legal rights to vote is: 6,318,641.

Increased figure
Increased figure
Increased figure

The calculation of the population in 2008:

With the growth rate 1.9 % of the Cambodian population base on the substantial sources:

  • From UNTAC, 15 years later (1993-2008) Cambodia's population was 11,698,201 = 2,000,000 + 9,698,201 (Khmer people)
  • From the NEC figure, Cambodia's population is 14,500,000, so the new immigrants figure is 4,801,799 = (14,500,000 – 9,698,201)
  • The new immigrants figure represents 33 % of the Cambodia's population (Khmer, Vietnamese and others)
  • The new immigrants figure represents 49 % of the Khmer's population (only Khmer e.g excluding the Vietnamese settlers, and others)


The democracy in Cambodia has been implicated by the close relationship and strong collaboration between the CPP and the Vietnamese settlers over the rights of Khmer people living on their homeland.

The election system implemented by the CPP would totally prevent any opportunity to the other political parties with a genuine intention to serve the Khmer people's interest. The CPP has 83 million Vietnamese people to back them up. The CPP would do anything to get their support and assistance at every election in the framework of the Indochina Federation under Vietnamese supervision.

In the term of 2008, the future of the Members of Parliament of the Cambodian National Assembly will be under the pressure from the Vietnamese Associations in Cambodia (because the CPP won the election thanks to the Vietnamese immigrants and in turn, the CPP must legitimize the status of these immigrants to have the right to establish in Cambodia). The close collaboration between the CPP and the Vietnamese immigrants via the sham democratic election game is the strategy to manipulate the international community to achieve their goal of establishing the Indochina Federation which is controlled by Vietnam. Once Cambodia becomes a part of the Indochina Federation, the Vietnamese immigrants will no longer need the protection of the CPP. In the opposite, the CPP will be a hindrance to the Indochina Federation because they are originated from Khmer people who would like to preserve their identity, culture and tradition, so they cannot be trusted and can be rebellious to them. But, Vietnam would not take risk to let the CPP reverse the situation (as Pham Van Dong's world statement in 1979 of his vision on Cambodia: "La situation au Cambodge est irreversible ....").

The election serving the Cambodian people's interest should be conducted in a free and fair system. But if the Vietnamese immigrants have the right to vote in inflated numbers figure, this election is only a game to fool the international community.

The only solution for the Khmer people now is to unite and claim our sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity through the international laws and exercise our right of being sovereign Khmer people in our homeland.

Paris, 14th July 2008
Dr Sakhonn CHAK
General Representative of
Khmer Mchas Srok


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