PHNOM PENH – Drenched in sweat and more than an hour into a speech urging 16,000 garment factory workers to vote for the ruling party, Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia revived the restless crowd by announcing that everyone would receive a cash gift.
“Nephews and nieces, it is just a little,” he said as the audience cheered and applauded. “You each get 20,000 riels ($5) as a gift. For nieces who are pregnant, you each get an extra envelope.”
Cambodians go to the polls on July 29 and Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia for more than 30 years, is trying to ensure victory after two close elections in 2013 and 2017 with cash inducements and a series of punishing measures against the opposition.