The Ministry of Interior has informed recently rehabilitated former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker Real Camerin that his request to form the “Khmer Empire” party had been rejected because the name represented a period in Cambodian history.
The Ministry of Interior wrote to tell Camerin of the decision on Tuesday, a week after he submitted his request to form a political party on March 19, the date he received rehabilitation.
“According to articles 2 and 11 of the Law on Political Parties, the Ministry of Interior requests the party founder to change the name requested because of the fact that ‘Khmer Empire’ is a name found in the history of Cambodia,” the letter said.
The former representative for Svay Rieng province was one of 118 senior CNRP officials banned from all political activity for five years following the dissolution of the party in November 2017.
Nine of the banned 118 have received rehabilitation after an amendment to the Law on Political Parties was signed off by King Norodom Sihamoni in January, while one has died.
‘Virtue, Truthfulness and Justice’
Reached on Wednesday, Camerin said he would find a new name soon and submit that to the ministry forapproval.
He said his party was formed with around 200 co-founders from all walks of life. He said when the ministry accepted the new name, he would collect the thumbprints of 4,000 supporters as required by law to form a party, and he had six months to do so.
“‘Virtue, Truthfulness and Justice’ is the motto of my party. The policy of my party is to unify Cambodia. Whether Khmer Krom, Khmer Leu or Khmer Kandal, we all are Khmer. We must understand and unify with each other regardless of political tendency."
“If other people don’t join us, we won’t be angry and smear them. My party will not attack other parties, whether big or small or the ruling party. We all are Cambodian and serving the nation."
“Those who commit wrongdoing reflect their capabilities and tell the people about their ability to serve them. We will just concern ourselves with our party. We will formulate our policies to serve the people for them to take to their hearts and make them consider us as real servants, ” he said.
Asked if he would return to the CNRP should it be reborn or join his former colleagues in another party, he said he did not regret leaving the CNRP and it was unlikely he would return to it, but rather compete with it democratically.
“If one day the [CNRP] joins together and they appealed to us to join with them, I would consider it because we are one Cambodian people and we are democrats,” he said.
Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said it was too early to assess Camerin’s new party.
“I hold no opinion as of yet, apart from waiting to see what kind of vision he has for the country and how he sets about materialising it through his party,” he said.