T HE Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is being awakened from political slumber, but
its honorary president does not see it becoming a true "opposition"
A party congress is being planned for October to choose a new
board of directors and a president, to begin preparations to run in the 1998
election, according to honorary president General Dien Del.
media, I'd like the masses to know that the LDP is still alive and active in
preparing itself to participate in the new election," he said at an Aug 19 press
Dien Del said he wished for the LDP to win some parliamentary
seats at the election. However, expressing his personal view, he said the party
was not yet ready to become an opposition, and would prefer to cooperate with
other parties to serve the country.
Not winning any seats in Cambodia's
election in 1993 had been a great loss, he said, and the forthcoming congress
would discuss the party's "weak and strong" points.
Dien Del said an
alliance between the LDP and the Buddhist Liberal Democratic Party (BLDP) was
possible, once that party settled its internal squabble.
"Not now, but
maybe in the next election we could form an alliance because we were both born
from the same parent," he said.
The LDP was created in 1992 and grew out
of the KPLNF's military arm headed by now-deceasd Gen. Sak Sutsakarn, who had
been at loggerheads with Son Sann for several years prior to the Peace
Dien Del said any LDP alliance was more likely to be with Ieng
Mouly's faction of the BLDP "because Mouly is young while [rival BLDP leader]
Son Sann is more than 80-years-old."
"Honestly speaking, I respect him
[Son Sann] as an old man, but I don't respect the way he leads [BLDP]," he said,
blaming Son Sann for friction in both the KPNLF and the BLDP.
The LDP has
some members employed within the public service, and maintains a party office in
Phnom Penh, but has done little politically since the last election