PHNOM PENH - Cambodia’s two opposition parties will register this month with the government as a single party, officials said Wednesday.
The conjoined party will be called the Cambodian National Rescue Party and will include officials from the Sam Rainsy and Human Rights parties. Opposition leader Sam Rainsy will be named president of the party.
A vice president has yet to be determined, said Kem Sokha, head of the minority Human Rights Party.
The party will seek to defeat the Cambodian People’s Party, which currently holds 90 of 123 National Assembly seats, in elections scheduled for next July, Kem Sokha said.
Under the leadership of the CPP, he said, Cambodia has “slid into a dangerous hole,” with increasing problems of poverty, corruption, land grabs and illegal immigration from Vietnam.
Yim Sovann, a spokesman for the Sam Rainsy Party, said the new party will welcome “all democrats” under its banner. “We should serve people to restore our country,” he said.
Cheam Yiep, a ruling party lawmaker, said the new party would not be a threat to the CPP, which has been in power for 30 years. “The Cambodian government has 5 million supporters, so we aren’t worried about two parties defeating us,” he said.