Interior Minister Sar Kheng has allowed recently-pardoned Real Camerin, a former CNRP lawmaker, to establish a new political party.
In a letter signed on Tuesday, Mr Kheng approved the formation of Mr Camerin’s Khmer Conservatism Party which is headquartered in Meanchey district’s Boeng Tumpun II commune.
“In order to have a valid legal standing, the party must fulfill requirements in accordance with the Law on Political Parties,” he said.
Am Veasna, deputy chief of the department of associations and political parties at the ministry, yesterday said Mr Camerin now can start registering the party by submitting the signatures of 80 founding members.
Mr Veasna added that Mr Camerin also has to garner the thumbprints of 4,000 party members and file the related documents within 180 days.
“After the notification of this permission, Mr Camerin must process the registration following the guidelines of the Law on Political Parties,” he said. “If he does not fulfill the requirement on time, the ministry will revoke the permission.”
Mr Camerin yesterday said he would comply with the rules as soon as possible in order to register his party and compete in the upcoming 2022 commune election.
“I’m not worried about meeting the registration requirement. I have received the green light from the ministry. It’s not hard to garner thumbprints from supporters,” he said. “The party now has about 6,000 members and more are joining us from day to day.”
“The CNRP had been dissolved. I must return to politics and play a leading role to help Cambodian people facing problems on the ground,” he added.
Mr Camerin was one 118 former CNRP members banned from politics by the Supreme Court in 2017. He and a handful of other former CNRP members have had their bans lifted after seeking clemency.
Former CNRP lawmaker Tep Sothy, who also received clemency last month, yesterday said it was Mr Camerin’s individual choice to create a political party, but noted that the new party will not be an effective force to challenge the CPP.
“I am happy for Mr Camerin after the Interior Minister allowed him to create a new political party and it’s good news that some former opposition supporters will join him,” she said. “However, I think the party would not be able to compete against the CPP like how the CNRP did.”
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan yesterday said Mr Camerin has the right to create a political party after his political ban was lifted, but noted that rules and regulations must be followed.
“We welcome the establishment of political parties that comply with the principles of a multi-party democracy,” he said. “He can compete in the upcoming commune election as long as he follows the laws.”