Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Candlelight Party senior adviser denies Rainsy link

Candlelight Party senior adviser denies Rainsy link

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Kong Korm who is now Candlelight Party ‘supreme adviser’ speaks at an event in May 2019. Heng Chivoan

Candlelight Party senior adviser denies Rainsy link

Veteran politician Kong Korm, senior adviser to the Candlelight Party, issued an October 23 letter denying allegations that the party has anything to do with Sam Rainsy, the exiled former president of the now-defunct Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), who just recently renewed his public calls for the overthrow of the Cambodian government.

“I emphatically deny this intentionally dishonest attempt at linking the Candlelight Party to the extremist ideologies involved with this extremist group who undermine democracy in Cambodia and destroy the happiness of Cambodia in other ways,” the letter read.

Korm, who is also honorary president of the Khmer Will Party, said that the leadership of the party is separate from that of the CNRP and its former leaders Rainsy and Kem Sokha, who is currently on trial for treason.

The statements came after Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that any political party would be dissolved if it was found that they were linked to Rainsy.

Addressing a public forum this week, Hun Sen said that he had had complete information about a meeting between a political party and politicians living abroad who were known to be part of Rainsy’s group.

“If that party dares engage in any activities concerning Sam Rainsy, I will sue the court for its dissolution,” he said.

The letter said that the Candlelight Party is a new party that split off from the CNRP after some of its officials lost faith in the CNRP and came under pressure from the international community over Rainsy’s statements.

“Only Khmer democrats who are in Cambodia can undertake the tangible activities that can accomplish what the general population wants,” Korm said.

After the CNRP was dissolved by the Supreme Court in November, 2017, all 118 elected officials from the CNRP were barred from engaging in politics for five years, but many of them later received “political rehabilitation” and the ban on their engaging in politics was lifted.

More than 30 of these ex-CNRP officials have re-engaged in politics and some have formed political parties and contested the commune council elections. Son Chhay joining the Candlelight Party, Ou Chanrath founding the Cambodian Reform Party and Yem Ponharith founding the Kampucheaniyum Party are a few notable examples.

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,