The Ministry of Interior has denied a request from the brother of slain political analyst Kem Ley to form a new political party named the Kem Ley Party because it is against the Law on Political Parties to use a person’s name within the party name.
Kem Rithysith, the younger brother of Mr Ley, who was shot and killed at a gas station coffee shop in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 10, 2016, applied to the ministry to create the party last month.
Khieu Sopheak, Ministry of Interior spokesman, said the ministry did not object to Mr Rithysith creating a new political party in his brother’s honour, but he must follow the law.
“We do not object to the proposal to form a new party, but the party’s name was not in line with the Law on Political Parties, specifically Article 11,” he said.
Mr Sopheak noted that a new application could be filed with the ministry once the party changed its name and Mr Rithysith could carry out his mission.
Mr Rithysith declined to comment and referred questions to his spokesman Kuch Ly, who also declined to comment.
However, Mr Ly told local media that the application was submitted to the ministry knowing that the name did not follow the law, saying they did so to honour Mr Ley.
“After two weeks, the ministry informed us to change the name of the Kem Ley Party,” he said. “We will change the name following the ministry’s order.”
According to a statement issued last week 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 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.
After Mr Ley’s funeral ceremony, his 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 month after staying in Thailand for nearly two years while waiting to be granted residency.