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  • Writer's pictureS. Peou

The Curse of Factionalism

Factionalism is a human problem!

This political reality exists everywhere: it exists in many families, workplaces, religious communities, and in all political systems. This human reality does not mean that all forms of factionalism are equal. Political factionalism is among the worst phenomena: it exists among political parties (inter-party factionalism) and within them (intra-factionalism), but some parties are less factionalized than others and those that become least factionalized are most likely to survive politically.

The main task of each political party should not be to destroy other parties but to make sure it becomes less factionalized. If a party is severely factionalized, it is unlikely to survive or hold onto power. I don't care about what party leaders say about national unity because they will be unable to achieve this political objective if they cannot even bring about unity within their own parties.

If you like to understand better the problem of political factionalism, read my journal article published in May 2020 (posted on this website under Publications). Cambodia provides a good case study that sheds some light on why political factionalism has been a curse for this country rather than a blessing.

I have no interest whatsoever in getting involved in politics, but taking this non-partisan position allows me to look the curse of political factionalism in a more objective way. Sadly, much thinking about Cambodian politics has been emotionally charged and deeply politicized or divisive. A curse!

To break this curse, all Cambodian leaders must at least be aware of their commonly shared problems, stop playing the blame game, and start thinking about their common future.

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