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LDP Convenes National Congress in Phnom Penh

LDP Convenes National Congress in Phnom Penh

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), a breakaway wing of the Khmer People's National

Liberation Front, has elected a new executive board that includes several overseas

Cambodians.

The party, formed in 1992 by one-time Lon Nol commander General Sak Sutsakhan, voted

in a president, five vice presidents, and an executive committee of 20 members with

seven alternates at a national congress September 12-13 in the Olympic Stadium. The

general was appointed president.

About 900 delegates attended the congress-the first held here by Cambodia's fifth

major political party.

Several senior western diplomats based in Phnom Penh also made an appearance, including

United States Chief of Mission Charles Twining, whose nation has long supported the

armed forces of the non-communist guerrilla factions and particularly the KPNLF,

whose military arm Sutsakhan once commanded.

Gen. Sutsakhan told the session that the party's platform supports national reconciliation,

a multi-party democracy, separation of party and state, a market economy and full

political rights for all adult Cambodians. He also called on UNTAC "to remain

for the time being in Cambodia after the election [next May or April] and until after

the newly formed government is able to function with confidence."

Many of the new board members, including those at vice presidential level, come from

France and the United States where the LDP established offices in 1991 and 1990 respectively.

LDP Vice President for Administration and Planning Noy Chanphal, who formerly lived

in the United States, said the devastated nation needed the skills of overseas Khmer

like himself.

Brig. Gen. Khem Sophoan, commander of the third division of Sutsakhan's forces, declared

the congress a success.

"Many provincial leaders attended and we all were of a like mind,"said

Sophoan, adding that he plans to run for a seat in the National Assembly.

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