Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Opposition party merger considered

Opposition party merger considered

Opposition party merger considered

Combined parties could compete with dominant CPP

As election results look increasingly

likely to confirm a landslide victory for the Cambodian People’s Party

(CPP), civil society groups have begun suggesting that the Kingdom’s

main opposition parties merge in a bid to better complete with the

ruling party.

In an interview Sunday with a civil society radio

program, Thun Saray, president of the Cambodian Human Rights Action

Committee (CHRAC), said that if the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP), Human

Rights Party (HRP) and Norodom Ranariddh Party (NRP) enter into a

coalition, they could pool their political power.

Mu Sochua, the

deputy secretary-general of SRP, said by telephone Sunday that the

three parties could merge because they share the same goal to eliminate

poverty and corruption.

“We could merge into one big vote in

parliament, but we have not yet talked about one big party. But we have

much optimism to merge,” Mu Sochua said.

Chea Vannath, an

independent analyst and former director of the Center for Social

Development, said the parties should join to help develop the country,

while Chan Sophal, president of the Cambodian Economic Association,

also said merging is an important point for the three parties because

it would make them stronger.

Chan Sophal also said that a merger

would make it easier on voters, explaining that instead of dividing the

electorate, it could make for an easier decision to cast a ballot for a

single party. 

“When three parties merge, they are a good-looking competitor with the CPP because they have equivalent force,” Thun Saray said.

Protesting the election

NRP

spokesman Muth Chantha acknowledged that the three parties, who engaged

in their share of finger-pointing prior to the July 27 vote, could

join. But he said their first priority was to continue contesting the

election results.

The opposition is claiming the NEC rigged the

vote by eliminating thousands of names from voter registration lists,

giving the CPP an unfair advantage.

“We have long time to talk

about merging. We will not deny our ability to merge, but what we are

focusing on right now is rejecting the election results,” Muth Chantha

said.

“We lost because of two reasons: The first is the fraud

committed by the National Election Committee (NEC), the second is not

having merged into one party,” Muth Chantha said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Angkor photo rules clarified

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) denied that it had banned the use of camera tripods in the Angkor Archaeological Park, explaining that the confusion stemmed from a long-standing rule which required commercial photographers and videographers to apply for permission to film. The explanation followed a

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At