A third political party registered its candidates for the election in July yesterday while a former senior member of the opposition expressed his disappointment over the absence of the CNRP.
Hang Puthea, spokesman for the National Election Committee, said that the Cambodian Nationality Party had their candidates registered at the NEC yesterday, a day after the ruling CPP and Cambodian Youth Party.
“In total, three political parties came to register at the NEC over two days,” Mr Puthea said.
Mr Puthea added that seven other political parties contacted the NEC for application forms, including the League for Democracy Party, Ponleu Thmey Party, Beehive Social Democratic Party, Khmer Farmer Party, Khmer Will Party and the Grassroots Democracy Party.
Yem Ponhearith, a former CNRP lawmaker, posted a message on his Facebook page yesterday, expressing his disappointment that the CNRP could not take part.
“The beginning of registration for political parties and candidates to participate in the election is more special than ever before because the race is without the party voted for by millions of people because it was dissolved,” Mr Ponhearith said. “People will begin to understand that social justice is really difficult to come by now.”
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday reiterated that the CNRP cannot be resurrected because the Supreme Court dissolved it after its leader Kem Sokha was jailed on treason charges for allegedly conspiring with the US to topple the government through a colour revolution.
Seng Sokheng, president of the Cambodian Nationality Party, said his party was fielding 266 candidates in all provinces to contest the election.
“The political atmosphere is better because we see that local authorities have cooperated well with political parties, such as the installation of party signs and issuing documents,” Mr Sokheng said.
Sam Inn, secretary-general of the Grassroots Democracy Party, said that his party has already received application forms for the election on July 29.
“We have to prepare it,” Mr Inn said, adding that GDP will hold a congress on Sunday to decide whether it will join the election.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said that the legitimacy of the election would not depend on the CNRP because more than 85 percent of Cambodian people had their names on the voter list.