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Nine parties face closure

Mom Sophon / Khmer Times Share:
Police outside the KPP head office. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The Interior Ministry has filed a Supreme Court complaint requesting the dissolution of nine political parties accused of flouting their obligations under the Law on Political Parties.

A letter from Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday asked the Supreme Court president to dissolve the parties and said another 11 parties must be reminded to fulfil their obligations in accordance with the law.

The nine are the Khmer People Party, Khmer Citizens Party, Khmer Society Party, Sangkum Thmey Party, Khmer Nationalism Party, Neang Neak Neary Khmer Party, Freedom Light Party, Woman Rescue Cambodia Party and the Liberal Unification Party.

“Those parties violated the provisions of Article 31 of the Law on Political Parties and have not sent an annual report to the Ministry of Interior,” the letter said.   

It added that the Phnom Penh Municipal Court had issued temporary suspensions against four of the nine – the Neang Neak Neary Khmer Party, Freedom Light Party, Woman Rescue Cambodia Party and Liberal Unification Party.

Sam Kuntheamy, executive director of election watchdog NICFEC, said the Law on Political Parties had only recently been amended, so the Interior Ministry should not rush to dissolve parties, but rather give them a chance to comply with new regulations.

But he said parties must also do their part and abide by the law.

“The presidents or representatives of political parties are aware of the law already, so if they are willing to obey, they should fulfil their obligations and not let the ministry remind them several times,” he said.

The 11 parties given a warning in the letter have between 15 and 90 days to submit various paperwork to the ministry, or face legal action.

Khmer Power Party representative Suong Sophorn said he had prepared the relevant documents in an attempt to stop the dissolution, which were awaiting sign-off from the party’s congress.

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