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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ... while another political faction rises

... while another political faction rises

T HE Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is being awakened from political slumber, but

its honorary president does not see it becoming a true "opposition"

party.

A party congress is being planned for October to choose a new

board of directors and a president, to begin preparations to run in the 1998

election, according to honorary president General Dien Del.

"Through the

media, I'd like the masses to know that the LDP is still alive and active in

preparing itself to participate in the new election," he said at an Aug 19 press

conference.

Dien Del said he wished for the LDP to win some parliamentary

seats at the election. However, expressing his personal view, he said the party

was not yet ready to become an opposition, and would prefer to cooperate with

other parties to serve the country.

Not winning any seats in Cambodia's

election in 1993 had been a great loss, he said, and the forthcoming congress

would discuss the party's "weak and strong" points.

Dien Del said an

alliance between the LDP and the Buddhist Liberal Democratic Party (BLDP) was

possible, once that party settled its internal squabble.

"Not now, but

maybe in the next election we could form an alliance because we were both born

from the same parent," he said.

The LDP was created in 1992 and grew out

of the KPLNF's military arm headed by now-deceasd Gen. Sak Sutsakarn, who had

been at loggerheads with Son Sann for several years prior to the Peace

Accords.

Dien Del said any LDP alliance was more likely to be with Ieng

Mouly's faction of the BLDP "because Mouly is young while [rival BLDP leader]

Son Sann is more than 80-years-old."

"Honestly speaking, I respect him

[Son Sann] as an old man, but I don't respect the way he leads [BLDP]," he said,

blaming Son Sann for friction in both the KPNLF and the BLDP.

The LDP has

some members employed within the public service, and maintains a party office in

Phnom Penh, but has done little politically since the last election

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