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Two opposition parties sign pact for promotion

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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.

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