Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - GDP eyes seven-party alliance to garner votes

GDP eyes seven-party alliance to garner votes

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP’s board of directors, speaking at a press conference in July. Hong Menea

GDP eyes seven-party alliance to garner votes

The Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) announced that it has reached an agreement to coordinate with seven other political parties that will merge under the umbrella of two to three parties in order to increase their share of the vote in the upcoming 2023 general election.

GDP said their goal is to prevent Cambodia from becoming a “one-party state”.

Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP’s board of directors, said at a September 18 meeting that GDP planned to cooperate with at least seven parties, all with a common goal of garnering enough votes to prevent the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) from continuing to “monopolise power” over the executive and legislative bodies.

He said at least seven parties will be in direct competition with the CPP, and the GDP would try hard to coordinate work with all of them so that they will be merged under the umbrella of three parties at most, in line with the principle of dividing constituencies to concentrate votes in particular areas where the CPP is deemed vulnerable.

Citing the June 5 commune council election results, Saing Koma said Candlelight (CP) – the country’s second-largest party with candidates fielded nationwide – gained 21 commune council seats. With the proposed merger, he said CP might capture as many as 29 National Assembly seats while other parties under the umbrella may also win some seats.

“Do we do engage in politics just for the sake of winning or are we also trying to promote and defend the system of multi-party liberal democracy? If we’re running just to gain some seats and feel important, then there is no need for any 2023 election alliance,” he said.

Kong Monika, president of Khmer Will Party (KWP) – which is among the seven parties keen on forming the alliance – said on September 19 that people wanted Cambodia’s pro-democracy opposition voices to unite as one force to compete with the CPP just as the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) once did.

He said that if the pro-democracy voices still continued to be polarised and engage in rivalry, that would be a very poor choice, because people will hesitate to vote for a coalition that can’t stop bickering with each other and some supporters will just refuse to go and vote.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said on September 19 that it was the GDP’s right to mobilise other parties and collaborate or merge to win more votes in the 2023 election as no laws prohibits the practice.

“However, my thoughts on that plan are that the more united they are – the more divisive they will become because their shares of power will not be equal, so it will be a point of contention between them before too long. It would actually be better for them not to merge,” he said.


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Famed US collector family return artefacts to Cambodia

    In the latest repatriation of ancient artefacts from the US, a total of 33 pieces of Khmer cultural heritage will soon return home, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In a September 12 press statement, it said the US Attorney’s Office for the

  • Tina rebuffs ‘false claims’ over falling paddy price

    Agriculture minister Dith Tina has shed light on the trade of paddy rice in Battambang – Cambodia’s leading rice-producing province – in a bid to curb what he dubs a “social media fact distortion campaign” to destabilise the market. While acknowledging that the prices of paddy

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • Kampot curfew imposed to curb ‘gang’ violence

    Kampot provincial police have announced measures to contain a recent spike in antisocial behaviour by “unruly’ youth. Officials say the province has been plagued by recent violence among so-called “gang members”, who often fight with weapons such as knives and machetes. Several social observers have

  • PM outlines plans to discuss trade, policy during US visit

    Prime Minister Hun Manet is set to meet with senior US officials and business leaders during his upcoming visit to the US for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for September 20. While addressing nearly 20,000 workers in Kampong Speu province, Manet said he aims to affirm