Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - HRP repeats call for opposition merger

HRP repeats call for opposition merger

HRP repeats call for opposition merger

HUMAN Rights Party (HRP)President Kem Sokha has again called on the country’s opposition parties to join forces in a bid to challenge the dominance of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party at future elections, expressing hope that a merger could happen later this year.

“The HRP wants to call on all nationalists and democrats to open talks to create this alliance urgently in 2010,” Kem Sokha said at a press conference on Monday. He also chided the Sam Rainsy Party – the country’s largest opposition group – for not taking the initiative in the push for a merger.

“The ball is in the SRP’s court, so we will wait to see whether SRP plays or not,” he said.

Kem Sokha was “100 percent” certain of a merger between the HRP and other opposition forces, but said the SRP’s involvement in the plan was still uncertain. “If the SRP wants to merge tomorrow, the HRP will merge tomorrow,” he added.

Kem Sokha said that during his recent visit to the United States he noted support for a united opposition party that would secure Cambodia’s territorial integrity and bar illegal immigration. “They want to see democrats merge on a democratic basis,” he said.

Mu Sochua, deputy secretary general of the SRP, said the party’s stance on the merger had not changed, and that an alliance must be based on democratic change.

“We have the will to merge, but only a merger that would prompt change and strengthen human rights and democracy in Cambodia,” she said.
CPP officials mocked the notion of an opposition merger, saying the parties’ track record for cooperation did not bode well for the plan.

“The CPP is fearless,” said senior party lawmaker Cheam Yeap. The opposition parties “cannot live together for a long time. They have talked about a merger for a long time and so far they are still the same, it still hasn’t appeared”.

When contacted on Monday, Pen Sangha, spokesman for the Nationalist Party, would not respond to Kem Sokha’s appeal for a merger, saying that his announcement for a union of “democratic and nationalist” groups did not refer to any specific parties.

“Kem Sokha should be clearer than this: He should write a letter stating specific names,” Pen Sangha said.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially

  • American convicted of raping boy, 10, in Siem Reap

    A 79-year-old American man was sentenced to one year in prison for raping a 10-year-old boy by Siem Reap Provincial Court on Wednesday. John Paul Zollbrecht, of Washington state, was sentenced to one year in prison while a Cambodian man who helped facilitate the abuse, 23

  • Cambodia: From pet project to problem child

    As international condemnation began to pour in earlier this month lambasting the Supreme Court’s decision to dissolve the country’s largest opposition party, ruling party elites were quick to ask: Why us? In an op-ed published by the Khmer Times, ruling Cambodian People’s