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New Opposition Party Officially Listed by Government

  • Heng Reaksmey
  • VOA Khmer

Opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha in VOA Studio in Washington, DC.

Opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha in VOA Studio in Washington, DC.

Party leaders hope the new body will help gather opposition and independent voters in a bid to break the ruling party’s super majority in the National Assembly.

PHNOM PENH - The Cambodia National Rescue Party will officially be allowed to contest the 2013 parliamentary elections, officials said Tuesday. The party’s leadership will consist of a mix from the two leading opposition parties.

Its president, Sam Rainsy, is the head of his self-named party, operating in exile and facing 10 years in prison if he returns, on charges he says are politically motivated.

Sam Rainsy has said he expects to find a political settlement to the case that will allow his return ahead of the elections, slated for July next year.

Kem Sokha, head of the Human Rights Party and vice president of the CNRP, said the listing was good news for opposition supporters.

The new party will include opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua, an outspoken parliamentarian for Kampot province, as its secretary-general. Spokesmen for the party will be lawmakers Yim Sovann, of the Sam Rainsy Party, and Pol Haom, of the Human Rights Party.

Party leaders hope the new body will help gather opposition and independent voters in a bid to break the ruling party’s super majority in the National Assembly.

The ruling Cambodian People’s Party currently holds 90 of 123 Assembly seats, six seats more than than the two-thirds majority required to overhaul major legislation for the country. The Sam Rainsy Party holds 26 seats. The Human Rights Party holds just three.
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