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

  • Cambodia rejects UN rights claim

    Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva on Friday hit back at David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression after he raised concerns over the repression of free speech and

  • Snaring may spawn diseases

    The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that snaring of animals has become a crisis that poses a serious risk to wildlife in Southeast Asia and could spawn the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans. Its July 9 report entitled Silence of the Snares: Southeast Asia’

  • Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state

    A former political party leader known for being critical of the government has been appointed secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, a royal decree dated July 9 said. Sourn Serey Ratha, the former president of the Khmer Power Party (KPP), told The Post

  • Residence cards set for over 80,000 immigrants

    The Ministry of Interior plans to grant residence cards to more than 80,000 immigrants to better keep track of them. The ministry announced the plan on July 10, following the results of an immigration census. “An inter-ministerial committee and many operational working groups have been set up

  • Kingdom produces PPE gear

    Medical supplies from Cambodia have been donated to member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to assist in the fight against Covid-19, said an ADB report published on July 9. The report stated that the supplies were donated as a response to global efforts to

  • Kingdom, US vow stronger ties

    At an academic forum on Saturday to celebrate 70 years of Cambodia-US diplomatic ties, Cambodian researchers and officials expressed hope of encouraging US investments and for that country to deepen and improve its bilateral relations. Held at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, it reviewed the past 70

  • Fifteen Cambodians from Saudi get Covid-19

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed 15 more imported cases of Covid. The 15 men ‒ all Cambodian aged 21 to 33 ‒ arrived from Saudi Arabia on Friday via a connecting flight in Malaysia. They were travelling with 79 other passengers, three of them women. The ministry said 80 of the

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The