A proposal to merge three of Cambodia's political parties to form a large combined
democracy-royalty party has been rejected by leaders of the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP)
and Human Rights Party (HRP).
The merger idea has been floating about in political circles for months but was formally
proposed by Prince Norodom Ranariddh, President of the NRP that bears his name two
Ranariddh said that none of the single parties alone can beat the ruling Cambodian
People's Party (CPP) at the upcoming national elections July 27, 2008.
"I would like your Excellency to take the interest of the nation and people
as a priority," Ranariddh said in a statement to Sam Rainsy, President of the
SRP and to Kem Sokha, President of HRP on November 15.
"I see that the environment of politics and democracy will be small and narrow
if the royalists and the democrats cannot beat [the CPP] at the parliamentarian elections
Keo Remy, Vice President of the HRP, told the Post on November 27 that if the NRP,
SRP and HRP really want to reunite they would have to first create a party platform
with similar ideas.
Remy said more than one million people are disappointed with the existing political
parties and their leaders, and therefore, the new HRP, has had to work hard to persuade
them to go to the polls.
"Our party is the collector of the democrats and royalists and will bring the
real power and democracy to the people," Remy said. "We are different from
other parties because we set up a mandate for the president of the party," Remy
Sam Rainsy downplayed Ranariddh's political strength and ability to unite the democrats
and the royalists in a political alliance.
"We have no need to have an alliance or merge with another party because it
is useless, if we look back to experience," Rainsy said. "We need the actual
alliance with the grass roots level from the different political parties."
Rainsy pointed out that SRP is the only opposition party that won seats in the National
Assembly and Commune Councils in the April 2007 elections. He said that SRP is working
to gather people at the grass roots level in order to build a strong party that can
defeat the CPP next year.
NRP was formed in late 2006 and HRP was formed later, holding its first congress
just last July.