Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rival KNP congress planned

Rival KNP congress planned

Rival KNP congress planned

I N defiance of his recent ouster as Vice-President of the opposition Khmer Nation

Party (KNP), Nguon Soeur says he intends to hold his own party congress on Mar 17.

Soeur maintains that under his stewardship, KNP will finally be granted the official

legal status which has eluded President Sam Rainsy since the party was established

last November.

"At the March 17 Congress of the Khmer Nation Party, we will change certain

articles in the party statutes, relating to its logo and founding date," Soeur

said this week. "We will change the foundation date of KNP from Nov 9 to Mar

17. This will be the day that KNP will be reborn."

He added that 2500 people would be invited to attend the congress, to be held at

Bopha Klain Rumsev dancing hall in Tuol Kork district. The meeting would be open

to members of other parties, as well as NGOs and diplomats.

"I am convinced that, at the Mar 17 congress, the government will recognize

KNP," Soeur said, "Sam Rainsy is welcome to attend the congress, but if

he does not come, we will have to see who will be the next president of the Khmer

Nation Party."

Rainsy and his supporters, meanwhile, have rallied to discredit Soeur's claims that

he is still a KNP official and that his expulsion was improper.

Rainsy has filed a lawsuit against Soeur alleging that he was guilty of "forgery"

for continuing to claim to represent KNP and for using the party's stationary.

Rainsy - in his quest to secure governmental recognition of the banned party - was

scheduled to lead a Mar 7 KNP delegation to the Ministry of Interior, in spite of

reports that top officials would probably ignore him.

In a Mar 1 letter to You Hockry and Sar Kheng, the Co-Ministers of Interior, Rainsy

criticized them for repeatedly postponing their Feb 16 invitation to hold talks on

the legality of KNP.

Sam Rainsy warned the ministers that - whether they replied to his demands or not

- he would lead a KNP delegation to the Ministry anyway.

"I suggest that our rendez-vous effectively takes place definitely on Thursday,

7 March 1996 at 8:00 am. This time around, I firmly hope that the Ministry of Interior

will no longer make excuses for postponing [the meeting], because such a decision

could raise annoying questions from national and international public opinion."

Soeur said he would not be attending any meeting between the government and Sam Rainsy

and the "young insolents" in KNP.

"I am trying to find a reasonable legal solution to the status of KNP as an

opposition party," Soeur said.

Ministry of Interior chief of cabinet Klok Buddhi, recently asked to comment on Rainsy's

assertions that the Constitution guarantees his right to form KNP, said: "We

do not plan to ban Sam Rainsy's group from the political scene in Cambodia.

"If we allow him to create a political party, it means we have to allow for

the creation of one hundred more political parties. This does not serve the interests

of public order and security. When people comply with the new electoral law, they

will be recognized as official political parties.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the