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Rainsy says no thanks to merging his party

Rainsy says no thanks to merging his party

A proposal to merge three of Cambodia's political parties to form a large combined

democracy-royalty party has been rejected by leaders of the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP)

and Human Rights Party (HRP).

The merger idea has been floating about in political circles for months but was formally

proposed by Prince Norodom Ranariddh, President of the NRP that bears his name two

weeks ago.

Ranariddh said that none of the single parties alone can beat the ruling Cambodian

People's Party (CPP) at the upcoming national elections July 27, 2008.

"I would like your Excellency to take the interest of the nation and people

as a priority," Ranariddh said in a statement to Sam Rainsy, President of the

SRP and to Kem Sokha, President of HRP on November 15.

"I see that the environment of politics and democracy will be small and narrow

if the royalists and the democrats cannot beat [the CPP] at the parliamentarian elections

in 2008."

Keo Remy, Vice President of the HRP, told the Post on November 27 that if the NRP,

SRP and HRP really want to reunite they would have to first create a party platform

with similar ideas.

Remy said more than one million people are disappointed with the existing political

parties and their leaders, and therefore, the new HRP, has had to work hard to persuade

them to go to the polls.

"Our party is the collector of the democrats and royalists and will bring the

real power and democracy to the people," Remy said. "We are different from

other parties because we set up a mandate for the president of the party," Remy

said.

Sam Rainsy downplayed Ranariddh's political strength and ability to unite the democrats

and the royalists in a political alliance.

"We have no need to have an alliance or merge with another party because it

is useless, if we look back to experience," Rainsy said. "We need the actual

alliance with the grass roots level from the different political parties."

Rainsy pointed out that SRP is the only opposition party that won seats in the National

Assembly and Commune Councils in the April 2007 elections. He said that SRP is working

to gather people at the grass roots level in order to build a strong party that can

defeat the CPP next year.

NRP was formed in late 2006 and HRP was formed later, holding its first congress

just last July.

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