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Multiple Parties a Worry for Opposition Voice

An independent election monitor expressed concern Wednesday that the increase of political parties in the National Assembly could weaken the political voice of the opposition.

In July’s elections, the Sam Rainsy, Human Rights, Norodom Ranariddh and Funcinpec parties all won seats, and if they remain disjointed, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, with its 90 seats, will run the lawmaking body, according to the Committee for Free and Fair Elections.

“The increase of the political parties will be able to disqualify the opposition if they are not united, while the ruling party has major success,” Comfrel said in a statement, announcing a monthly analysis.

CPP lawmaker Cheam Yiep said the many parties within the Assembly conformed with the constitution, which supports a liberal, plural democracy.

“The implementation of all state affairs cannot become a dictatorship or be of legal wrongdoing, and the five parties in the National Assembly demonstrate the will of the people, who were confident in five parties among 11,” he said.

SRP lawmaker Ke Sovannaroth, who is the party’s acting secretary-general, said Wednesday the weakening of the opposition in the National Assembly “is not our concern.”

“However, we are concerned about human rights violations and land grabbing, which we must help to solve,” she said.