Opposition leader Sam Rainsy has said his eponymous party will not change its name, despite statements from the Human Rights Party (HRP) that the proposed merger between the two political groups is contingent upon its rebranding. “As [Sam Rainsy] said during a video conference on Saturday, the party has more supporters than the Human Rights Party, and if we change the name there will be problems,” said Sam Rainsy Party spokesman Kimsour Phirith. Kem Sokha, president of the HRP, however, said that “Sam Rainsy is afraid of internal problems”, adding that “maybe somebody inside the party wants to take control”. He said the HRP did not wish to co-opt its ally, but, rather, needed to invent a new name under which both parties could unite. “If we don’t discuss this with each other, then how can we do this [merger]?” he asked. Kem Sokha has called for the two opposition leaders to join forces to challenge the dominance of the Cambodian People’s Party. But he said last month that although he was “100 percent” certain of a merger between the HRP and smaller opposition groups, he was not sure what Sam Rainsy would do.
Party Merger: SRP refuses to give up party name