My dear Kacvey,

Were you caught up in the spiral of news from Paris when you woke up from the night of Friday 10 February 2017 that was filled with natural triple treat: a “penumbral” lunar eclipse during the full “snow” moon, and the flyby of a comet?

The selection of that specific 11 February 2017 to announce the resignation must have been well blessed by the oracle of Mount St. Michel. Brilliant astrological maneuver!

It seems to be so as the resignation of the self-exiled president of the opposition party has been widely carried by local media as “Breaking News”: The Cambodia Daily and The Phnom Penh Post, and other international outlets, such as: Reuters, UPIBBC News, The Daily Mail and The Bangkok Post. Although the gist of the issue is “the resignation” per se, nothing else has been known or reported concomitantly.

The City of Tonlé Buon Mouk must be abuzz with speculation, comment, analysis, opinion, critic, condemnation and elation from every Tom, Dick and Harry who congregated around a bowl of kuy tiev for breakfast, or in general headquarters of political parties, big or small.

Kacvey, please open your eyes and ears at the gate of the opposition headquarters – before it would be expropriated by the autocrat! – when the permanent committee members and the steering committee directors meet on Sunday to “discuss” the agenda item: resignation of Lôk Prâthéan.

Let the river flow its current and carry the alluvial deposits according to the law of nature and hope they can settle their “problem” in the best way they envisage.

But Kacvey, when you return to your political sciences class on Monday, you will certainly face a barrage of questions from your students who will try to understand the process and its future implications on the political landscape leading to the June 2017 commune elections. So, get ready for hypothetical questions such as:

      • Was the decision to resign a personal one? With or without consultation with or agreement from his spouse who is also a deputy at the national assembly?
      • Was his deputy consulted? If not, why? Do you recall the secret agreement that he made with the autocrat in July 2014 that took his deputy by surprise?
      • Why a president of a party could just walk away from his position and responsibility in such a casual and irresponsible manner? The ship is not capsizing but the captain already abandons it?
      • Why resigning now, more than a year after Korea and self-exile, and 4 months before the commune elections?
      • What has happened to the famous spirit of “2 bodies, 1 soul” born in Manila?
      • What was the rationale of running a political party without direct human touch and from a distance of about 10.000 kms via telephone, Skype, video-conference or Facebook?
      • Have the illusions on the national elections committee and the opposition television – 2 keystone elements in the secret agreement between himself and the autocrat – turned into disillusions in the same manner as the so-called culture of dialog?
      • Was he in fear of the threat that the ruling autocracy would abolish or ban his party from the elections? Did he believe that the threat at the national assembly is real, and not a political bluff?
      • Why did he put the party to scramble to find a proper remedy for a long illness that finally breaks out?
      • What would happen if party members-at-large refuse to accept the resignation or if the party could not come up with a new presidency accepted by both wings of the party?
      • Would it be possible that the party has no one of national stature and clean aura to step forward to fill up the empty shoes, because the party was created by “personality or personalities” and run on top-down style?
      • What happened to those discourses on BBC HARDTALK on 22 September 2016 or on France TV5 on 8 February 2017, for example?
      • How would U.S. Congressmen Allen Lowenthal and Steve Chabot now feel for their letter of 9 February 2017?

Of course you don’t have any answer to those questions, but it’s free to hope that the opposition party will issue some form of communiqué or press release after the meetings of the permanent committee and the steering committee. That would make your teaching job a little bit easier on Monday.

By the way, please also remember how Freud described the super-ego and its relationship to the father figure and Oedipus complex: “The super-ego retains the character of the father, while the more powerful the Oedipus complex was and the more rapidly it succumbed to repression, the stricter will be the domination of the super-ego over the ego later on – in the form of conscience or perhaps of an unconscious sense of guilt.”


12 February 2017
– Reuters: Cambodia opposition names acting leader after shock resignation
– Bangkok Post: Cambodian opposition names acting chief after Sam Rainsy resigns
– The New York Times: Top Opposition Leader in Cambodia Resigns as Election Nears
– Asia Times: Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy steps aside

13 February 2017
– Southeast Asia Globe: With Sam Rainsy gone, what’s next for Cambodia’s opposition?
– Nikkei Asian Review: Cambodia’s Sam Rainsy throws politics into disarray

16 February 2017
– The Economist: One down, 54 to go – The leader of Cambodia’s opposition resigns

19 February 2017