Opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha say they are confident their new opposition coalition has a chance of winning national elections next year and that they are finally prepared to register the new party under the government later this month.
The National Salvation Party will join together officials from the Sam Rainsy and Human Rights parties, with Sam Rainsy named president. The original parties will not disband, however, allowing those supporters with legislative or local leadership roles to stay where they are.
The two men are in Washington meeting US officials to lobby for support and explain the strategy of the new party. Both appeared for studio interviews with VOA Khmer on Wednesday.
“When democratic forces unify as one to confront a ruling party and a dictatorship government, the democratic forces will definitely have victory,” Sam Rainsy said.
Kem Sokha, who will be the party’s vice president, said the new party represented “hope for a democratic process in Cambodia.”
Both leaders say they want to see reforms in the National Election Committee, which they say is biased toward the CPP. The NEC must address voter and registration irregularities, especially “ghost” voters, they said in a studio interview with VOA's Khmer Sok Khemara.