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Parties seek formal merger

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times Share:
The parties will consider a congress to join together. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Remaining members of the Candlelight and Human Rights Party are considering merging with the CNRP to present a united front as the opposition faces the threat of dissolution by the Supreme Court.


Candlelight, which was formerly known as the Sam Rainsy Party, and the Human Rights Party, came together to form the CNRP in 2012.

However, the founding parties remained as entities in their own right, with several members in the Senate.

Now the two parties are considering throwing their whole weight behind the CNRP.

According to a Facebook post published yesterday by CNRP spokesman Yem Ponhearith, Candlelight and the Human Rights Party will organise a congress to discuss dissolving themselves and working fully for the CNRP.

Mr Ponhearith added the parties had already joined national elections in 2013, provincial and district councillor elections in 2014, and commune elections in 2017, under the CNRP banner.

“Politicians who have similar concepts and ideas always join together,” he said, adding that voters will make their decision whether to support them or not.

Mr Ponhearith, who fled the country, could not be reached for further comment.

Human Rights Party president Son Soubert said he was unaware of the plan, but agreed that members from both parties would move to work at CNRP if it went ahead.

Political commentator So Chantha said there is no point in keeping the two separate parties.

“Dissolving the parties would be a good choice to unify supporters,” he said.

Mr Chantha pointed out that the leaders of the opposition should create a new party if the CNRP were dissolved.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said all parties must follow the rule of law.

“This is an internal issue for each party,” he added.

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