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Beehive Party Lacks Sting

Tin Sokhavuth and Pav Suy / Khmer Times Share:
Beehive Radio owner Mam Sonando joins land activists to march on Human Rights Day. KT Photo: Ven Rathavong

PHNOM PENH (Khmer Times) – The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party is reacting with a shrug to the move by former supporter Mom Sonando to start his own political party.

Beehive Social Democratic Party, which takes its name from popular radio station owned by Mr. Sonando, is not a threat to the CNRP, its members said.

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann told Khmer Times that the new party would be irrelevant. Beehive Social Democratic Party is unlikely to garner enough support to win a single seat in the next election, while the CNRP expects to win more, he added. 

Political analyst Ou Virak said those who want to oust the Cambodia People’s Party will vote for the CNRP rather than Beehive Social Democratic Party because the former is the CPP’s major contender.  

Not a Fan of “Culture of Dialogue”

Mr. Sonando, formerly a staunch supporter of the CNRP, said he is launching a new party because there is now no difference between the CNRP and the CPP. He said the so-called “culture of dialogue” – in which both parties have toned down their public attacks on each other –  had resulted in the loss of an opposition party. 

Mr. Sonando submitted his party registration form to the Interior Ministry on Monday. It has 30 days to review the application. 

CPP spokesman Chhim Phal Virun said his party welcomed the move as voters should have a wide choice of parties to select from. 

Nhem Bunthan, secretary of the steering committee of Beehive Social Democratic Party, said it had 22 policies. Among these reform of the judicial system is the most important. The courts must be made independent, he stressed. 

Mr. Sonando  set up Beehive Social Democratic Party in 1998, but it won no seats. He joined the CNRP in 2013.

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