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Kem Ley’s brother to create new political party

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times Share:
The party cannot use Kem Ley’s name. Supplied

Slain political analyst Kem Ley’s younger brother Kem Rithysith has decided to form a political party in a bid to participate in the upcoming elections in July, but officials say the name of the party might be an issue.

The party is named after Mr Ley, who was shot and killed at a gas station coffee shop in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 10, 2016.

According to statement on Saturday by Mr Rithysith, the party’s goals are to further develop the country following the concepts laid down by his late brother.

“Forming the Kem Ley Party is in accordance with the laws and is to prevent extremists from using the name of Dr Kem Ley as a tool for political purposes,” he said.

He called on Mr Ley’s supporters to join him in his effort to carry on with his assassinated brother’s endeavour to better the kingdom.

Mr Ley’s wife Bou Rachana and her five sons left Cambodia for Thailand on August 28, 2016, after receiving refugee status from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

They arrived in Melbourne, Australia last week after staying in Thailand for nearly two years while waiting to be granted residency.

Mr Rithysith declined to give detailed information about the new party yesterday, saying he was working on it and in the process of running the party which could be formed in shortly over a month.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the Law on Political Parties bans all parties from using the name of an individual in the party’s name or any person’s face on its logo.

“When asking to be registered, the Interior Ministry will make a decision on how to deal with it,” he said, adding that the Sam Rainsy Party had already changed its name to the Candlelight Party, and Funcinpec had removed Prince Norodom Ranariddh’s picture from its logo.

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said he was aware of Mr Rithysith’s intentions, but the ministry had yet to receive an official registration letter.

He added the party is required to have at least 4,000 supporters in order for the the ministry to accept its registration.

“Mr Rithysith has the right to form a party, but he has to follow the Law on Political Parties,” he said. “We will review his request if the letter is submitted.”

Mr Sopheak said the ministry would ask Mr Rithysith to change the name of the new party if it was found to be against the law.

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