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Opposition party calls on investors to assist in funding its TV station

CNRP leader Sam Rainsy
CNRP leader Sam Rainsy leaves the National Assembly in Phnom Penh earlier this month after being granted permission to start an analogue television station for his party. Pha Lina

Opposition party calls on investors to assist in funding its TV station

The opposition party is launching a fundraising campaign to finance its new TV station and is appealing to members of the public to buy shares in a yet-to-be-formed company, a spokesman said yesterday.

“We will sell shares for $1,000 each. We will sell to the public. [So] if anyone is interested in buying shares, please come forward,” Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker and spokesman Yim Sovann said.

The CNRP aims to raise at least $2 million as a starting point, but only has about $100,000 committed so far, he said.

“Some have [committed] to buy shares worth $3,000 to $4,000, others from $30,000 to $40,000,” Sovann said.

“We just want to know who wants to invest and just inform and talk with them.”

The spokesman declined to name or provide contact information for any investors, citing their desire to remain anonymous until more details are announced.

When eventually launched, the station will host advertising and aim to compete with private networks.

If it makes profit, Sovann said, dividends will be paid to shareholders.

The party says it hopes the new channel will begin broadcasting some time next year.

An opposition-aligned company called Cambodian Independent Media was given an analogue TV licence by the Ministry of Information last month after a special request from Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The ministry had previously said no analogue channels were available for the CNRP, but claims to have seized one from an unidentified private company in order to make room for it.

Although Cambodian Independent Media holds the TV licence, “another company will be formed because we have to separate the company who won the licence and the company which has the money of [those] who invested their capital”, Sovann said.

The CNRP and other non-ruling parties have long complained of unequal access to media in the Kingdom.

Hun Sen first floated the idea of an opposition network during the political deadlock earlier this year as an inducement to get the CNRP to end its boycott of parliament.

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