Interior Minister Sar Kheng has told recently-pardoned Real Camerin that the name of his proposed new party has to be changed because the name contradicts the Law on Political Parties.
Mr Camerin was one out of 118 former CNRP members banned from politics by the Supreme Court in 2017. He, along with a handful of other former CNRP members, had their bans lifted after seeking clemency.
Mr Camerin is now looking to return to politics with a new party named the “Khmer Empire Party”.
However, Mr Kheng said in a Tuesday statement that the name of the party is not allowed.
“According to articles two and 11 of the Law on Political Parties, ‘Khmer Empire’ cannot be allowed because it refers to a historical period,” he said.
Prak Sam Oeun, director-general of the ministry’s general department of administration, said Mr Camerin must change the name in order for the party to be registered.
“The law does not allow any political parties to use the name because it could mislead the public and can be taken advantage of by other political parties,” Mr Sam Oeun said. “Most Cambodians know of the history of the Khmer Empire. If it becomes the name of a political party, then the public might get the wrong idea.”
He noted that Mr Camerin has enough time to consult with the ministry and rename the party.
Mr Camerin yesterday said he will comply with the rules so his party can participate in the 2022 commune election.
“I want the party to be in line with the Law on Political Parties, so I accepted the request and will make the change as soon as possible,” he said, adding that his party will consist of 6,000 former CNRP members and supporters overseas.
When asked about criticism from other former CNRP members, Mr Camerin said he needed to return to work without waiting for the return of the former opposition party.
“I do not care for those who curse me for asking to have my ban lifted,” he said. “I think this is the only way I will be able to again exercise my political rights and help the people of Cambodia. I do not think the CNRP will be reinstated.”
In other news, the Interior Ministry has stated that it will recognise the Khmer Win Party as Soung Sophorn’s new party.
Previously named the Khmer Power Party, Mr Sophorn changed its name following a request by the Interior Ministry.
Mr Sophorn yesterday said the KWP will directly compete with the ruling CPP and become the main opposition party.
“KWP pledges to remain on the opposition side,” he said. “Whether the party wins or loses, it will continue to serve the country.”