Kong Korm, a former senior advisor to the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) wrote an open letter to former lawmaker Ou Chanrath and Son Chhay inviting them to discuss a way to compete with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) in the coming elections.
Korm wrote the letter following a media report that Chanrath was mulling forming a new political party, while Chhay had been granted political rehabilitation last week.
Currently, the honorary president of the Khmer Will Party – founded by his son Kong Monika – Korm applauded Chanrath’s plan to form a political party.
In the letter, Korm said the idea of demanding Prime Minister Hun Sen to step down from power, having him arrested, or toppled, were revolutionary plans.
These plans were poisonous and dangerous for former CNRP members, citizens and the nation, he said. He said those who were granted political rehabilitation may have the same views as him.
“To show respect and appreciation for your abilities and for the possibility of communicating with you both, I would like to share a common goal to initiate a talk, either bilaterally, tri-party, or multiparty among the leaders of the political rivals, to find a formula in which we can effectively gain results in the commune elections in 2022 and the national election in 2023.
“I hope and believe that both of you will accept and consider my most honest and good intentions toward multiparty democracy, respect for human rights and development, which the national and international atmosphere want to see,” Korm said in his letter.
He told The Post on Tuesday that his call for a discussion with both rehabilitated politicians as well as other party leaders was to find a way to compete with the ruling CPP.
Kin Phea, the director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said on Tuesday that Korm’s appeal had good intentions, but it would not be easy to repair the broken CNRP.
He said divisions exist among those who were granted rehabilitation and those who are still banned from politics.
“It can’t be assured that they would welcome his appeal because we see different ideas among the CNRP, even among those who had already received political rehabilitation.
“Those who are still banned from political activities are also divided. It’s hard to foresee that they could gather and compete with the CPP.”
Chanrath could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. A source within the former CNRP said Chhay is in Australia to purportedly collect support from former CNRP officials abroad before he reveals a political scenario in the next few months.