The opposition party is fielding over three times as many youth candidates as the ruling party, the parties and registration lists revealed yesterday.
Yim Sovann, spokesman for the Cambodia National Rescue Party, said that 45 candidates under the age of 35 will run as lawmakers in 24 provinces and municipalities.
Fourteen Cambodian People’s Party candidates under the age of 39 will be running in July, according to the party registration list. At least eight of those candidates are sons of prominent ruling party officials, including Prime Minister Hun Sen, and deputy prime ministers Sar Kheng and Sok An. Sovann said the bulk of CNRP candidates were pulled from their youth wing. “We don’t care whether they are children of dignitaries or [simple people], provided they are qualified,” he said.
Among the prominent members running is Suong Sophoan, CNRP youth wing president, who will stand in Pailin. The 26-year-old activist has made headlines repeatedly over the past years.
In 2011, while demonstrating at a Boeung Kak eviction, he was allegedly beaten unconscious by police and security. A year later, Sophoan accused Hun Sen of murder for failing to prevent the Koh Pich bridge stampede and filed a lawsuit with the court that was quickly dismissed.