Eleven political parties will contest this month’s general election.
The Post’s Meas Sokchea and Sebastian Strangio take a look at party
structures and policies as Cambodians weigh their options ahead of
national polls on July 27.
Norodom Ranariddh Party (NRP)
Founded: October 2006
President: Norodom Ranariddh, 64.
Political Platform: Formed by ousted Funcinpec leader Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the party pledges to “preserve royalism” and strengthen the institution of the monarchy; preserve the Khmer race and its culture, religion and language; “absolutely resolve” the issue of illegal immigration; and protect Cambodian sovereignty. If elected, it also promises to lower food, fuel and electricity prices; eliminate corruption and land-grabbing; reform the judiciary; abolish motorbike taxes and taxes on small businesses; construct paved rural road networks; institute a tax on unused land; provide free health care to the poor; establish free primary and secondary education; and raise minimum wages for factory workers.
Candidates: 123 in all 24 cities and provinces.
Khmer Democratic Party
Founded: March 1998
President: Uk Phourik, 63.
Political Platform: To comply with the Constitutional law and promote the rule of law; promote respect for democracy and human rights; promote market economic policies and gain the support of national and international financial institutions; promote human resource development, employment and salary increases; fight corruption; eliminate anarchy, terror, thievery, drug and human trafficking and forest crimes; and preserve Cambodia’s cultural heritage and social morality.
Candidates: 123 in all 24 cities and provinces. Won 1.9 percent of the vote in 2003, but no seats in the National Assembly.
Founded: March 2006
President: Khem Veasna, 37.
Platform: To defend Cambodia’s independence, sovereignty, and territory integrity; create laws and mechanisms to fight corruption; take action against illegal land-grabbing; increase salaries of civil servants and soldiers; adjust the school curriculum by adding elements of moral education relating to the Cambodian national conscience; focus on the development of border and rural areas; crack down on crime and reform the judiciary; limit the Prime Minister to two terms in office, and prevent him from creating a personal bodyguard unit and living in a residence provided by the state.
Candidates: 123 titular in all 24 cities and provinces.
Cambodian People’s Party (CPP)
Founded: June 28, 1951
President: Chea Sim, 76.
Political Platform: According to the CPP’s official platform, the party “has determined to protect the Constitution, to maintain the regularity and the efficiency of the Royal Government, to enlarge the pluralist liberal democracy and the respect of human rights in order to build up the country as a State of Laws.” The main economic policies of the CPP are “the creation of favorable conditions for the reform of the Cambodian economy… having the qualifications to be successively integrated into the world economy,” and “the establishment of thousands of schools, [construction of] rural roads, development centers, ponds, wells, hospitals, Buddhist temples and Muslim mosques… These are the tasks which had been done, are being done and continue to be done for ever by the CPP.”
Candidates: 123 in all 24 cities and provinces. Won 47.4 percent of the vote in 2003, resulting in 73 seats in the National Assembly.
Khmer Anti-Poverty Party
Founded: September 2007
President: Daran Kravanh, 51.
Platform: The party’s main aim is to reduce poverty, protect land titles, fight corruption, increase the salary of the civil service and armed forces and to eliminate deforestation and the depletion of the Kingdom’s natural resources. It also pledges to defend Cambodia’s territorial integrity from the power of any foreign tyrant leader, and to create four new ministries: the ministries of Anti-Corruption, Job Seeking, Disabled People, and Welfare & Social Work. In coalition with the Society of Justice Party.
Candidates: 120 in all 24 cities and provinces.
Khmer Republican Party (KRP)
Founded: March 2005
President: Lon Rith, 46.
Political Platform: The party pledges to uphold the republican ideals of the Khmer Republic, established by the March 1970 coup d’état of General Lon Nol, father of current KRP president Lon Rith. It also stands for national unification; reconstruction of the nation; the defense of Cambodia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; and increases in the standard of living for all Cambodians. Unlike Lon Nol’s Khmer Republic, however, the KRP does not advocate the abolition of the monarchy.
Candidates: 73 in nine provinces and municipalities: Prey Veng, Kampong Cham, Phnom Penh, Kampong Chhnang, Battambang, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap, Kampong Thom.
Society of Justice Party
Founded: August 2006
President: Ban Sophal, 51.
Platform: The party promises to promptly amend the Constitution to restrict an individual to two terms as Prime Minister; ensure that political parties cannot arbitrarily dismiss lawmakers; ensure that the courts are independent of any political control; support the royalist regime; resettle illegal immigrants; settle border disputes to regain Khmer territory; eliminate corruption without waiting for the anti-graft draft law; cut down the inflation rate and manage oil and gas transparently by encouraging Cambodian students to study in countries which are experienced in oil resource management. In coalition with the Khmer Anti-Poverty Party.
Candidates: 46 in seven provinces and municipalities: Battambang, Kampong Thom, Banteay Meanchey, Phnom Penh, Pursat, Siem Reap, and Kampong Chhnang.
Founded: February 1992
President: Keo Puth Rasmey, 56.
Political Platform: According to its party platform, “Funcinpec Party is a royalist and Sihanoukist party that carries on from the Funcinpec Front, a movement to liberate the nation under the initiation and leadership of Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk… Funcinpec adheres to the national Constitution and follows free market principles. Funcinpec promotes national development in all fields. It encourages and facilitates foreign investments, especially in the fields of agriculture, agro-industry, handcrafts, tourism and commerce. Funcinpec promotes total literacy. Funcinpec endeavors to develop human resources to the highest quality including attracting foreign aid in training abroad. Funcinpec promotes… the health of the people by making programs to construct hospitals in all areas, rural and urban.”
Candidates: 123 in all 24 cities and provinces. Won 20.7 percent of the vote in 2003, resulting in 26 seats in the National Assembly.
Sam Rainsy Party (SRP)
Founded: November 1995
(formerly Khmer Nation Party)
President: Sam Rainsy, 59.
Political Platform: In its paper “100 Measures to be Implemented by an SRP Government,” the party pledges to adhere to the nation’s democratic principles, promote human rights, secure an “independent and clean judicial system,” to curb violence, provide free health care and education to the poor, prohibit the confiscation of land and establish a social security safety-net. It also plans to increase the salaries of teachers, civil servants and soldiers, to wage a war against corruption and to promote economic growth as a long-term means of reducing youth unemployment. Finally, the SRP plans to ensure a “clear separation between the State and the ruling party,” and to “prevent… state revenues from being diverted into the ruling party’s coffers.”
Candidates: 123 in all 24 cities and provinces. Won 21.8 percent of the vote in 2003, resulting in 24 seats in the National Assembly.
Hang Dara Democratic Movement Party
Founded: May 2002
President: Hang Dara, 56.
Political Platform: Support the royalist regime; resettle illegal immigrants; settle border disputes to regain Khmer territory; smash tyrants and corrupt officials; improve Khmer living conditions through extensive access to health and education; eliminate corruption via the adoption of an anti-graft draft law; promote local produce; and establish inter-ministries to manage oil and gas deposits transparently.
Candidates: 123 in all 24 cities and provinces. Won 0.3 percent of the vote in 2003, but no seats in the National Assembly.
Human Rights Party (HRP)
Founded: July 2007
President: Kem Sokha, 55.
Platform: The HRP pledges to limit the prime minister to two terms; reform the electoral system; empower the public by establishing public forums between the people and government; quickly adopt and implement anti-corruption laws to international standards; require the prime minister to declare the extent of his personal property; set up independent human rights institutions at the national level, to defend human rights; encourage civil servants of all classes to serve the people responsibly and punish those that fail to do so; reduce the number of deputy prime ministers, senior ministers, secretaries of state, governors and deputy governors, as well as advisors to the prime minister and his bodyguards; guarantee freedom of speech and the freedom to strike and take part in non-violent demonstrations throughout the country; encourage and support research institutions to independently survey people in order gauge the opinion of the people.
Candidates: 123 in all 24 cities and provinces.