The newly launched Cambodian National Salvation Party (NSP) is setting aside a financial war chest for the upcoming 2013 national election by creating a foundation with the goal of raising US$1 million.
The money, said Mu Sochua, a senior lawmaker and president of the NSP secretariat, will go toward the party’s campaign costs.
The National Rescue Foundation was established earlier this month, and according to an online tally, has raised about $26,000.
Most of the donations have poured in from Cambodians living abroad, with the bulk of the cash deriving from the US Cambodian community.
“We are very sure that we will collect at least $1 million,” said a confident Sochua. “They hate oppression; they want to have a change.”
Even if the NSP reaches its goal, however, it can’t begin to compete with the financial might of the Cambodian People’s Party, said Koul Panha, head of election monitoring organisation Comfrel.
Panha estimates that the CPP spent roughly $10 million in the June commune elections.
He added that to make elections truly fair, there should be a ceiling on campaign spending.
Cheam Yeap, a senior lawmaker for the ruling CPP, did not agree, saying the amounts of money spent is a decision better left to each party.
To contact the reporter on this story: Meas Sokchea at [email protected]