A long-simmering feud among the leadership of the Buddhist Liberal Democratic Party
(BLDP) has broken out in the open and threatens to split the faction-riven party
Ieng Mouly, the BLDP's first vice-president, told the Post that two camps have emerged
in the party and differences in the leadership have become intense in recent months.
"I have ceased to listen to him (Sonn San) because of our many differences of
opinion. We can not accept his ideas when he does not want to listen to us,"
Mouly, a founder of the BLDP which has ten members in the Constituent Assembly, said
that he had no plan to leave the party, but that he and other followers have distanced
themselves from the president.
"I can say now among the ten representatives in the assembly the majority is
on my side," he said.
In the run up to the election, a conflict erupted between Sonn San and Mouly over
whether the party should take part in the election or not.
Sonn San advocated boycotting the election and despite great pressure from many opposition
sources, Mouly insisted the party stay in.
Sonn San later sought to have his first deputy removed from the Supreme National
Council (SNC) and his candidacy to run in the election revoked. His demand, which
Mouly said was groundless, failed to find a positive response from the heads of the
SNC and UNTAC (United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia).
"His Excellency Sonn San did not indicate what I'd done wrong. In the court
you have to prove your allegation with something. He violated the party status,"
At the convening of the Constituent Assembly Sonn San was appointed president of
the Constituent Assembly and the BLDP was awarded three ministerial posts-Women,
Youth and Sports Affairs, Relations with the Assembly and Rural Development.
Mouly who is an elected member of the assembly failed to get a portfolio.
He said he had suggested that ministers should be BLDP-elected members of the Constituent
Assembly, and as for the non-elected ones, they could become deputy ministers. But
he said his idea was dismissed by Sonn San who gave portfolios to other officials
of the party.
"He raised a pretext that we gave him total power," Mouly said.
The formation of the government proceeded without any objections, despite a strong
debate about legal aspects led by some BLDP members.
Mouly predicted that through hand-raising approval the drafting of the constitution
might be finished even before three months, except for some technical problems involving
the translation of principles into real institutions.
"Politically, all the Khmer parties do not have any differences. But, we have
to translate the political will into legal act," he said.
"That's why I am not very satisfied with the work of the assembly," he
"It seems to me the assembly proclaimed itself as a national assembly. Then
I asked if it is what rules or whether it is ruled by law," he added.
He suggested the constitution should clearly state that the election-winning party
be given a ruling role in government,