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Beehive party vows to contest national vote

Former Beehive Social Democratic Party leader Mam Sonando, seen during a party campaign rally for the June commune elections. Facebook
Former Beehive Social Democratic Party leader Mam Sonando, seen during a party campaign rally for the June commune elections. Facebook

Beehive party vows to contest national vote

The Beehive Social Democratic Party has resolved to contest the 2018 national election after the surprise resignation of their firebrand president, radio broadcaster Mam Sonando.

Sonando’s resignation threw into question whether the party would fold without its charismatic leader.

A new president will be selected by Beehive members on September 4, Vice President Huon Pannary said yesterday.

“We’re going to select the new president and vote on three party positions,” she said, adding she would throw her hat in the ring.

“Actually I will try to [win the presidency], but I don’t know [the outcome] – it depends on the people that vote.”

Mam Sonando addresses the crowd at a protest in Phnom Penh in 2015.
Mam Sonando addresses the crowd at a protest in Phnom Penh in 2015. Vireak Mai

The party meeting is slated for a month after Sonando resigned, citing a disappointing showing at the commune elections, where his party took just one commune councillor seat.

Sonando denied the recent amendments to the Law on Political Parties – which prohibit convicted criminals from leading political parties – had to do with his stepping down.

He has been jailed three times, most recently in 2012 for a spurious “secessionist” plot that was converted to a lesser offence.

Four leaders of opposition parties have either resigned or been arrested in the past few months.

CNRP President Sam Rainsy resigned in February, while Khmer National United Party President Nhek Bun Chhay and Khmer Power Party President Sourn Serey Ratha were both arrested in the past two weeks.

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