A Khmer National Liberation Front member who fled to Thailand in December has signalled a return to Cambodia in order to further pursue the creation of the Khmer National Liberation Party.
Thuy Vy, the KNLF member, fled the country out of fear for his life after claiming that an anonymous government official threatened him for expressing desire to create the party following the completion of his 18-month jail sentence for incitement.
Mr Vy said yesterday that he is currently travelling across Thailand in order to garner support from exiled KNLF members living in fear of the Cambodian government.
“There are thousands of KNLF members living in Thailand. The KNLP is half way to having 4,000 supporters so that we can register as a political party,” he said. “I will convince them to join the party and return to their home country.”
“I think I could gather all the support by next week and then I will return to register,” Mr Vy said. “After the registration, our board committee will vote to appoint a party president.”
According to the Law on Political Parties, a potential political party needs 4,000 members in order to register.
Last month, Vorn Vuth, the movement’s head in Thailand, told Cambodians at home and abroad that the KNLP would develop Cambodia by creating prosperity and international prestige.
“I hope that all KNLF members currently in prison would be granted pardons after the KNLP becomes a legitimate political party,” he said yesterday when reached by phone, noting that 18 KNLF members are still in jail due to incitement convictions.
Chhim Kan, director of the Interior Ministry’s political parties department, yesterday said he is looking forward to decide whether an application by the KNLF to create a political party would be accepted.
“I have not seen their documents, so I cannot tell yet whether it can be registered as a political party,” Mr Kan said. “I know that this movement was branded a terrorist group and that their members were recently arrested.”
In 2018, a total of 12 suspects were arrested for allegedly being connected to an alleged plot to overthrow the government. The 12 suspects are now in jail pending trial.
Interior Ministry spokesman General Khieu Sopheak yesterday said the ministry would never permit the creation of a KNLF political party.
“I do not care about this group. It’s impossible for a terrorist group to register as a political party,” Gen Sopheak said.