Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Opinions differ when it comes to new party

Opinions differ when it comes to new party

Opinions differ when it comes to new party

A meeting held for the “social network” Khmer for Khmer yesterday revealed trepidation among members about the group’s possible future as a new political party.

The group, which currently claims to advise Cambodia’s parties on internal democracy, has scheduled a referendum next month to decide the matter.

Khmer for Khmer’s creator, political analyst Kem Ley, brushed off rumours the vote had already been decided, saying it would be based on members’ votes and “not just centralised decision making”.

Ley also denied a media report that opposition leader Sam Rainsy asked him at a conference in Hong Kong this weekend not to start a new party.

“I said nothing [to] them,” he said.

At the meeting, around 200 attendees scored the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party according to 11 criteria, such as “members are the owners of the party, financially support it, and are able to fire and elect its leaders”.

For that category, Norton University student Roeun Sokha gave the CPP and the CNRP marks of 1 and 1.5 out 10, respectively, saying that while Hun Sen has been in power for decades, “Sam Rainsy also led his party for many years”, and “as a citizen, [neither] party listens to my voice”.

Attendees appeared split, however, on claims that a new party would strengthen the ruling CPP’s grasp.

“I would say half of these people do not want a new party because they are still CNRP loyalists. But half are looking to create a new one,” said Top Prohosh, a consultant.

A running theme was that both parties should be given time to reform, with Ley saying the completed rubrics would be compiled into a report of recommendations.

“[Khmer for Khmer] should stay a social network in the meantime, unless the political parties are not willing to adapt to change,” said mechanical engineer Marin McWilliams, a past opposition supporter.

“I’ve been in the political arena for a while, so I think anything can happen.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Ethnic group ‘disappointed’ to be denied French visas to attend court

    Eleven people at the centre of a case involving seven indigenous Bunong villages in Mondulkiri province pursuing legal action in France have expressed disappointment after the French embassy in Phnom Penh denied their visa applications to attend court. A press release said the 11 included a

  • Cambodia nabs 12th place in best retirement destinations

    Cambodia is an expatriate hotspot for those dreaming of living a more luxurious lifestyle at an affordable cost, according to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2019. For the fourth year in a row, Cambodia took the top spot in the Cost of Living category.

  • EU starts EBA withdrawal

    The EU on Monday announced that it has begun the 18-month process of withdrawing the Kingdom’s access to its preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement over “a deterioration of democracy [and] respect for human rights”. However, the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) said

  • PM: War result of foreign meddling

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Sunday that Cambodia’s recent history of conflict was caused by foreign interference. “The wars that happened were caused by provocation, incitement, support, smearing and interference from foreign powers, and the group of ignorant people who pushed Cambodia to