Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - HRP seeks to resume talks of a merger between opposition

HRP seeks to resume talks of a merger between opposition

HRP seeks to resume talks of a merger between opposition

Humen rights Party President Kem Sokha urged Sam Rainsy to restart talks about a merger of the two opposition parties, according to a letter obtained by The Post yesterday.

Kem Sokha urged Sam Rainsy, president of the eponymous political party, to consider merging by July this year in a letter dated January 25.

“The HRP understands that if we want a real democratic movement merger that can save our nation, we have a lot of affairs to discuss in order to build a unified alliance that will be stronger and more successful,” Kem Sokha wrote.

Kem Sokha said that a merger that lacked internal democratic reforms and merely distributed power among party loyalists would fail against the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

“The HRP understands that if we want to correct them, we must correct ourselves first,” the letter said.

“If there is no risk, there is also no change.”

The letter also gave a timeframe for merger negotiations.

“The HRP wants to see the merger between our parties be successful before July.”

Yim Sovann, SRP spokesman, declined to comment yesterday, saying he had not yet seen the letter.

Phay Siphan, spokesman at the Council of Ministers, said that the suggestion that a merger between the opposition groups would help “save the nation” was an insult.

“When we use this word, it is a word of attack, a word of insult,” Phay Siphan said.

“We are not scared of [their merger], we are only scared of poverty.”

Kem Sokha’s letter is the latest in a series of related opposition unity discussions.

In November, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly urged the two parties during a meeting to form a united platform.

Kem Sokha said at the time that he supported a merger.

“The decision to form a united opposition, it is up to the Sam Rainsy Party. For me, I have always wanted to unite,” he said.

Yim Sovann said, following Clinton’s visit, that a merger could endanger existing opposition seats in parliament.

A proposal for the SRP, HRP and Norodom Ranariddh Party to merge ahead of the 2008 national elections fell through.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Apparel groups including H&M and Gap urge Cambodia garment industry reform, seek meeting with Hun Sen

    A group representing some of the largest apparel brands in the US and Europe – including Gap, H&M and ASOS – expressed “growing concern” on Tuesday over several controversial labour laws and ongoing court cases against unionists described as restrictive and unjust. In an open letter

  • Cambodia, states clash at UN session

    Cambodia traded shots with the international community in a heated exchange at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday evening, with states condemning the Kingdom’s ongoing crackdown on the political opposition and civil society, and an increasingly agitated Cambodia accusing member states