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Ruling Party’s New Headquarters Funded by Members and Costs $40M: CPP Spokesperson

Construction is underway to finish the new Cambodian People's Party (CPP) headquarters by June of this year, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, May 7, 2020. (Kann Vicheika/VOA Khmer).

The Cambodian People’s Party will inaugurate its massive new headquarters in Phnom Penh, with a party spokesperson saying members contributed the $40 million it took to build the structure.

The ruling party’s new headquarters is in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district and is being built at the site of the old office, near the Senate building. The massive structure is almost entirely white and much larger than the previous headquarters.

CPP spokesperson Sok Eysan said the new headquarters cost $30 million to $40 million, and was funded by voluntary contributions from party members, but did not have specifics of the budget or size of the contributions.

“We have six million party members; we know that if they contributed $10 each, we would get $60 million,” he said, adding that it will be inaugurated on June 28, the party’s founding day.

“So, if we average the [contributions of] the poor, rich, middle [class] members, I don't think it would be difficult to get $30 million to $40 million.”

The Cambodian People’s Party won all seats in parliament in 2018 and with a vote share of 77 percent in the national elections had 4.8 million votes in its favor.

Sophal Ear, an associate professor at the Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, said the building was emblematic of the CPP’s intentions to hold on to power for a long time.

“Projection of money and power, to impress upon all that the ruling party is here to stay and will never be dislodged,” he said. “Alas, it will take more than size. This kind of symbol can backfire.”

Ear Sophal said that the CPP could be transparent and reveal the donor lists if all the funds did come from its members, and dispel any accusations of corruption.

The Cambodian People's Party was founded on June 28, 1951, under the name Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party, to initially oppose the French colonial regime.