Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rainsy hits out at newly formed small parties

Rainsy hits out at newly formed small parties

Representatives of the small Beehive Social Democratic speak to NEC officials on Monday. Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy on Tuesday likened small parties joining the election to disembodied ghosts.
Representatives of the small Beehive Social Democratic speak to NEC officials on Monday. Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy on Tuesday likened small parties joining the election to disembodied ghosts. Pha Lina

Rainsy hits out at newly formed small parties

Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy continued to rail on Tuesday against minor parties participating in the upcoming July elections, with the leader of one such party, the son of a former CNRP official, suggesting it may be time for Rainsy to pass the baton.

With the Cambodia National Rescue Party dissolved, Rainsy has called for boycotts on behalf of the opposition, though some senior officials have challenged his authority to speak for what remains of the party. Meanwhile, a handful of parties affiliated with the former CNRP have sprung up to challenge the elections.

“I compare the party which has been pushed to join the fake election to an ahp party,” Rainsy said in an interview with Radio Free Asia, referring to a type of spirit with a head but no body.

One of these is the Khmer Will Party, which was founded by Kong Monika, son of high-ranking former opposition official Kong Korm. Social media activist William Guang, a vocal government critic, also established the Khmer Rise Party, with authorities apparently ignoring a lingering lawsuit for incitement and defamation.

“They were warned, threatened, and forced to create a new party to show the CNRP was broken,” Rainsy said of the new hopefuls on RFA, while contending that the CNRP would return to the political stage.

Monika, however, dismissed Rainsy’s criticism in an interview on Tuesday, saying his party represents the “soul” of the CNRP.

Registration for July’s elections began on Monday, with the CPP and the Cambodian Youth Party signing up that day. The National Election Committee reported that the Cambodia Nationality Party registered on Tuesday, while 16 others requested forms. Registration will last until May 14.

Monika defended his decision to enter the political fray regardless of the CNRP’s forced demise.

“We have our political right to serve the nation. I am the one who was born by the blood of the democrats,” Monika said, adding he doubts the CNRP will ever return, to which Rainsy responded with one word in an email: “Ridiculous!”

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said he supported Monika’s desire to start a new party.

“He just implemented his political rights. No one has the right to violate his political right to create a new party to join on the democratic stage,” Eysan said, accusing Rainsy of excessive pride.

He repeated comments that Hun Sen made on Tuesday, stressing that the CNRP has been “cremated” and is now a “ghost”.

On Tuesday, Rainsy seemed to stir the pot further, sharing a leaflet calling for boycotts. “There are only two real choices,” the leaflet reads.

“Not go to vote means that you support the CNRP in your heads . . . go to vote (for whatever party) means that you support the CPP,” it continues.

Passing out leaflets has been met with swift legal action in the past, including for CNRP activists accused of “incitement”, as well as members of the Khmer National Liberation Front, who were accused of attempting to topple the government after distributing flyers.

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak was coy about whether similar action would be taken if in-country opposition supporters spread such a message.

“If we say we are going to take action now, they will say we are threatening them,” he said. “What you plan, you will receive the result.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (