The Cambodia National Rescue Party’s decision to remove a controversial slogan from its platform was met with approval from Interior Minister Sar Kheng, though a decision on the legitimacy of its leadership remained to be made, a ministry official said yesterday.
Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said the opposition’s decision to remove the phrase – “Replace commune chiefs who serve the party with commune chiefs who serve the people” – as the title of its political platform for the upcoming commune elections had pleased Sar Kheng.
The CNRP had sent two separate letters to the ministry informing them of the slogan removal – called insulting by ruling party commune chiefs and even Prime Minister Hun Sen – as well as the re-election of Kem Sokha and three deputies, as per the party’s recently amended bylaws.
The ministry had ruled that last month’s extraordinary congress, held to promote Sokha, was illegal because it was in contravention of a previous version of party bylaws, which required an 18-month waiting period between the resignation and election of a new president.
The CNRP had amended its bylaws before electing Sokha to circumvent that article, but Sopheak said the ministry was still deliberating the issue.
“[Sar Kheng] has assigned experts to examine this problem and they will give their opinion to him,” Sopheak said.
CNRP spokesman Yem Ponhearith said he was optimistic the ministry would approve the party’s new leadership given that they were now in line with both their bylaws and Law on Political Parties.