Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Two opposition parties sign pact for promotion

Two opposition parties sign pact for promotion

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Leaders of the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday. Pha Lina

Two opposition parties sign pact for promotion

The Khmer Rise Party and Dharmacracy Party signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Thursday aimed at promoting each other’s policies and working closely to re-energise the Kingdom’s political landscape, their leaders said.

Speaking to journalists during the MoU signing ceremony at Sunway Hotel in Phnom Penh, Soksovann Vatanasabung, president of the Khmer Rise Party (KRP), said it is a new political voice which is unafraid to criticise the government and powerful officials who abuse their power to oppress the weak.

Vatanasabung said his party would not resort to populist practices while wielding power to oppress the people as the ruling Cambodian People’s Party did.

“The KRP aims to solve the issues facing the nation. We will not resort to ‘demagogic’ measures – distributing money, sarongs and scarves. We want people to buy those things for themselves,” he said.

The two parties, he said, formed an alliance to firstly reflect a united front for Cambodians to show the public that solidarity and a joint spirit better serves the interests of the Kingdom and its people.

“We did not unite to serve private or party interests. We united to show national solidarity as one, and our alliance does not mean we are merging into a single party but rather to help each other promote our policies and solve problems we may encounter as fledgeling parties,” he said.

Dharmacracy Party president Pothitey Sawathey said people wanted a peaceful change of leadership as they had become apathetic to the current political situation.

“People see that we have had the same government and same opposition, and now the [main] opposition has been dissolved. So we need a new opposition to help people choose the [best] leaders,” he said.

Arguing semantics

In response, CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said Vatanasabung did not understand the word “demagogy” and that the CPP did not use “populist” measures.

“I think he does not understand the meaning of ‘populist’. [The CPP] gives away [small items] and a little money to express gratitude and this is not ‘demagogy’. In fact, the gifts are not given to the public, but only to party members, so it is the CPP’s right,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Protests planned in New York as Hun Sen to attend the UN

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will speak at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week. But US-based supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) plan to throw eggs at his car as part of a series of protests to coincide

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • News Analysis: Defiance can last for how long?

    The Cambodian government has so far stood strong in the face of mounting international pressure over its treatment of critics, but analysts, diplomats and ruling party officials now wonder how long the defiance can last. The European Union has led the firestorm of criticism, threatening

  • ‘Freedom fighters’ or ‘foreign puppets?’

    Former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) official Meach Sovannara was joined by supporters at a rally in California on Saturday, where a US lawmaker hailed members of the outlawed opposition as “great freedom fighters”. However, a Cambodian government spokesman said such a phrase belonged to