A Change of Guard

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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

In Search of Votes, CNRP Turns to Youth and Beauty [Beauty really attract, that's a good move, CNRP!] អ្នកនាងស្រស់ទាំងរូប ល្អទាំងចិត្ត, នេះបានចំជានារីខ្មែរមែន!


Lacking the funds and expansive network of volunteers the ruling CPP has behind its well-oiled election campaign, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) is turning to a resource it now boasts in increasingly large numbers: young women.
On Thursday, as the CNRP ramped up preparations for July’s national election, young volunteers flocked to the party’s headquarters in Phnom Penh. Among them were fashionable women who were frantically assembling party-branded flags.
Volunteers prepare promotional flags bearing the logo of the Cambodia National Rescue Party at the party's headquarters in Phnom Penh, in this photo released online by a campaigner on Thursday.
Volunteers prepare promotional flags bearing the logo of the Cambodia National Rescue Party at the party’s headquarters in Phnom Penh, in this photo released online by a campaigner on Thursday.

As they sat hard at work, a party member took photographs of them and before long had posted a collage of images to a popular CNRP-affiliated Facebook page.
“We are women ready for the rescue of the Khmer nation this July 28, 2013. And you, are you ready for the nation’s rescue yet?” read a message alongside the image, which showed young women clad in CNRP clothing and memorabilia.
The photo, which carried the caption, “It is known that the young National Rescue girls are beautiful and gentle when you meet them,” has received more than 700 “likes” on Facebook and has been shared more than 135 times on the social networking site.
ខ្ញុំបានត្រៀមខ្លួនរួចហើយ សំរាប់ផ្លាស់ប្តូមេដឹកនាំសព្វថ្ងៃ នេះចេញ ចុះអ្នកវិញ ? 


With elections now just over a month away, the CNRP is hoping to gain some leverage from integrating young, smart—and attractive—women into its campaign. In a country where more than half the population is below the age of 30, the CNRP is also trying to compete with the ruling party’s own hugely successful youth movement.
CNRP Phnom Penh campaign director Ly Sovichea, who posted the images of the CNRP’s latest female recruits last week, said since the post went online the party had drawn a substantial number of new recruits to its campaign.
“A beautiful woman, she always has a lot of friends—especially boys—studying with her. And I told them: ‘You have to bring your friends to come to join us, okay?” said Mr. Sovichea, adding that since his post went up on Thursday the party had seen roughly 200 young male members join the party as volunteers.
In a country where more than half the population is below the age of 30, the CNRP is also trying to compete with the ruling party’s own hugely successful youth movement.

On Saturday, the CNRP’s headquarters was a site of industriousness, with young men hard at work cutting and stripping bamboo poles in the building’s basement, while upstairs, groups of professionally-dressed young men and women painstakingly nailed policy posters to the bamboo.
The volunteers stopped only to smack each other playfully with the campaign materials, collect drink orders delivered from a nearby restaurant, and pose as Mr. Sovichea took more photos with his smartphone.
While attracting more men to the cause is one benefit of promoting young, female party members, CNRP candidate Mu Sochua, who was Cambodia’s Minister of Women’s Affairs between 1998 and 2004, said such campaigning was also part of an effort to empower young women throughout the country.
“Usually it takes a lot more for women to come out and campaign, so when the men see them engaged, they…come out too,” she said. “Usually, it is the other way around,” with men driving election campaigns, “but now with social media, women can come out without being afraid.”
Ms. Sochua also noted the opposition’s work during last year’s commune elections, when the opposition SRP attempted to mobilize more young people in its campaign and saw an unprecedented increase in young women coming to join the party.
“Young women, when they campaign, she will take the party’s message serious…. She will work 10 to 12 hours a day,” Ms. Sochua said.
In one of the photos posted online is 18-year-old high school student Thy Vantha.
She said that she was more than happy to be photographed campaigning if it meant she was helping attract new members to the party.
“Sometimes they post my photograph on Facebook, and then more people come because they see that I am not afraid,” Ms. Vantha said Friday. “They see I am only a high school student, but even I am not afraid.”
“I think they see that I am young, and I am brave to come here to help, so they have to take their time and show that they are brave,” she added.
Kim Sophea, secretary of the CNRP’s executive campaign committee, said showing pictures of young, female party members was less about attracting male voters and more about highlighting the general appeal of the party to the country’s youth.
“Some people, especially the men, they say: ‘Wow, they are very beautiful ladies. Pretty ladies go with the CNRP. Should we go and see those ladies in the headquarters?’” he explained. “The main thing is that the youth are willing,” to join the CNRP, he added.
Branom Kalyaney, a first-year university student who is also involved in the CNRP’s campaign preparations, signed up one of her friends to the opposition party on Saturday.
“I think if we have more women, then men want to join,” she said.
The push to promote young women within the opposition’s campaign has not gone without criticism. According to Mr. Sovichea, the party campaigner, the CNRP’s Phnom Penh campaign director has already been accused by CPP members of using underhanded methods, and even of paying young women to turn up at the CNRP’s campaign headquarters.
The strategy does not appear unique to the CNRP, with a Facbook page attributed to the Phnom Penh branch of the CPP-affiliated Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia also displaying photographs of its events attended in large numbers by young women.
However, Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said Sunday that the posting of such images was not a strategy of the CPP, and any photos on Facebook of attractive women attending party-sponsored events were the result of its young members’ choices.
“It’s not in the guidelines of the party. We don’t work for young and beauty, we work for youth and principle,” he said.
Mr. Siphan said that he was not worried that pictures of attractive women campaigning for the CNRP might steal young members away from the CPP, as the majority of the country’s young people simply do not approve of such tactics.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to have young pretty girls to promote the party,” he said. “It doesn’t help that party [the CNRP] because the youth of Cambodia is still very conservative. On Facebook, the youth always raise the national issues, they don’t go on how people look.”

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

These girls have both the outer and inner beauty. Nice to see them helping to effect the change in Cambodia.

Anonymous said...

okay, all the beautiful khmer girls with good brain will be voting for CNRP, while the ugly, stinky, uneducated, dog eaters will vote for Hun Sen. Take your pick!

Anonymous said...

if they let me sit next to that long hair girl, I probably will vote for CNRP.

Anonymous said...

I understand that sex sells. But what the opposition are selling isnt sex. Please do not say that our Khmer generation are selling sex using images of young girl.

But the fact is these young girls, no matter, beatiful or not, are joining the opposition because they want change. Change from Hun Sen 30 years of being a Vietnamese puppet.

Anonymous said...

i'm proud of khmer loves each other
not attacking each other, not hate each other

Anonymous said...

why you look down on these young girls? They are not selling sex...
They will think again to continue this work if they see this title.

Anonymous said...

where is she living ?

I want to ask her to be marry and

sponsor to live in Australia.

Khmerican said...

I'm sorry if I have offended anyone, especially girls/women, with my additional title of "sex sells". I did not mean the girls in the pictures, or those girls who joined the CNRP, sell sex. The reason I put that additional title was because I wanted to draw readers' attention and the phrase was just an analogy as related to the second additional title of "beauty really attract". These girls are decent people and they did a wonderful job for our country and they should be commended for helping to effect change in Cambodia.

In order to stop the misunderstanding, I decided to delete the title of the "sex sells".

Thank for pointing that out.

Anonymous said...

11:53 am, if they ask that girl to call me to donate money to CNRP, I would give her a lot of money and won't think twice.

4:48 pm, she is sooo beautiful. If I have her phone number, I'll call her to marry me and bring her to Australia too, so you and me have to fight for her. lol

Anonymous said...

Thank you Khmerican.

Anonymous said...

There might be no prime minister for the new government, if CNRP win this election.

Anonymous said...

Can somebody answer my question? When I saw these two beautiful Cambodian girls, I don't understand why Sdach Chey Chetha like "Galong Youne"? Dear beautiful girls, you are you so beautiful from inside out, your heart your soul your beauty. I want you to be my queen for Cambodia. Keep up the good work! I’m proud of you both. You are famous now so be careful and be careful, there are a lot of crooks out there want to hurt you.

Anonymous said...

nis chea kolboth khmer oum som niyay tha koun khmouy pith virik neary men

Anonymous said...

ស្ត្រីខ្មែរកាលសម័យ ជ័យ ចេត្ថា ពុំមានស្ត្រីស្អាត
ដូចរូបដែលបានឃើញនោះទេ?

ខ្មែរសុទ្ធមើលពួកភ្នងនៅប៉ែកឦសាន្តនៃប្រទេស
មិនខុសគ្នាទេ តែពួកឦសាន្តឥឡូវខ្លៈកាត់យួនដែរ
ពណ៏សំបុលសាច់សដែរសម័យថ្មី។

ចង់រកក្រមុំខ្មែរសុទ្ថទៅរកមើលភូមិ រលាក់កងជើង

នាងដែលបានឃើញនេះមិនមែនខ្មែរសុទ្ធទេ បើមិន
កូនកាត់យួន ក៏ កូនកាត់ចិនដែរ ខ្សែស្រលាយ
បើមិ៩នឆ្ងាយក៏ជិត។

អប្សរាអង្គជាគំរួរស្រាប់?

ស្ត្រីខ្មែរបើស្អាតៗដូចកូនយួនឬចិន ខ្មែរមិនបាត់បង់ដីទេ?