Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Human Rights Party granted extension

Human Rights Party granted extension

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Supporters march after the Human Rights Party announced its dissolution in January 2018. Post Pix

Human Rights Party granted extension

The Ministry of Interior granted the Human Rights Party (HRP) and Candlelight Party six-month extensions to provide the government with official lists of party leaders, a letter written by Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said on Friday.

“The ministry of interior agrees to allow the Human Rights Party to have a six-month delay in fulfilling the conditions as stipulated in Article 26 of the new Law on Political Party from the date of this notice until June 2020,” the letter obtained by The Post read.

Founded by Kem Sokha in 2007, HRP merged with the Sam Rainsy Party in 2012 to form the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).

HRP former president Son Soubert announced the dissolution of the party last January, but the ministry said two-thirds of its party members failed to formally cast votes on the matter as prescribed by law.

Similarly, the Candlelight Party, which was founded in 1995 as the Khmer Nation Party and changed to the Sam Rainsy Party in 1998, held a congress last February to change the party’s statute in a bid to dissolve the party.

HRP secretary-general Hing Sok San said on Sunday that the party did not have any members left in its ranks, making it impossible to send a list of members as all of them had left to join the CNRP.

“The names of all party leaders must be sent to the Ministry of Interior, including the Candlelight Party and the Human Rights Party. The Candlelight Party has already sent the list and there is no problem.

“However, the Human Rights Party has no members remaining because they all left for the CNRP, so it could not provide a list as required by the Ministry of Interior,” San said.

The extension was granted two years after Sar Kheng, who is also a deputy prime minister, sent two separate letters to HRP president Son Soubert and Candlelight Party president Teav Vannol requiring them to send a list of leaders to the ministry after previous documents were found to be insufficient.

Kem Monovithya, the daughter of former CNRP president Kem Sokha, on Friday said on Twitter: “The Human Rights Party has not sent a list of names of leaders and requested a delay. It has sent a request to the authorities to dissolve the party since 2018.

“For the Sam Rainsy Party, it has fulfilled its obligations to the ministry in order to remain registered as a party.”

Soubert, who said he resigned as HRP president after the dissolution announcement, told The Post that he was not aware of the request for an extension as a replacement should have assumed his former role.

Former HRP senior official Pol Hom said that while he too was unaware of the party’s request for an extension, the ministry may have requested the list of senior members to provide them with “political rehabilitation”.

Kin Phea, the director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, said that among those to be rehabilitated within the next six months maybe Kem Sokha if he chooses to return to the HRP.

“It is a good option, Kem Sokha should consider relegitimising the Human Rights Party. If [he] talks about the reviving of CNRP, it would be certain that Kem Sokha would still be under [court supervised bail],” he said.

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay told The Post: “Given today’s political climate, the ministry has an objective in mind when granting the Human Rights Party an extension.

“When there were demands for the release of its former president Kem Sokha, his release was the key demand from the EU to continue [‘Everything but Arms’] for Cambodia.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,