The Ministry of Interior will not reissue registration documents to the Candlelight Party (CP).

Following a September 21 meeting between ministry secretary of state Bun Honn and CP representatives, the ministry cited the fact that there is no relevant law which would authorise it to do so.

It explained that it cannot issue a second letter to any party.

Honn said the ministry has already met with the CP four times, which demonstrates its equal treatment of all political parties. Unfortunately, the Law on Political Parties does not state anywhere that the ministry has the authority to issue a second registration document or a copy.

“The ministry has the authority to permit the formation and registration of new parties,” he added.

CP spokesman Kimsour Phirith said his party requested the registration letter in order to contest future elections. He was of the view that the ministry’s refusal was politically motivated.

CP was disqualified from contesting the 2023 general election due to the loss of their party registration letter.

Hang Puthea, spokesman for the National Election Committee (NEC), said on September 24 that NEC would not be able to register the CP for any future ballots unless it produced the certified registration letter.

“The NEC will not accept a copy of the letter from the interior ministry, we need the original document,” he explained.