PHNOM PENH —
Vocal radio host and founder of the Beehive Social Democratic Party Mam Sonando has quit the party he founded, citing its failure to secure votes in the June commune elections.
In a statement released last week, Sonando said he regretted that the BSDP did not do better in the local elections.
“I feel regret that the Beehive Social Democratic Party didn’t obtain a result as expected after the fourth mandate of the commune elections,” he wrote.
He told VOA Khmer on Friday that his resignation was unconnected to the passage of amendments to the political parties law that prohibits parties from associating with convicts. In 2012, Sonando was sentenced to 20 years in prison for allegedly masterminding a secessionist plot in Kratie province, but was released in 2013 after pressure from the international community.
He said that he decided to quit the party after it failed to win a single commune seat at the June elections. Continuing to contest the general election in 2018, he said, would be “a waste of time.”
He blamed a lack of funding for the party’s failure but added that he would continue to be active in politics by giving lectures and making radio appearances.
“We were born to be politicians, so we must do politics, but what I will do is not ask people to vote for me, I will continue to educate people to have self-awareness about politics, rather than just accept what political parties say,” he said.
Sonando, formerly a prominent CNRP supporter, formed the BSDP after he publicly attacked CNRP leaders Kem Sokha and Sam Rainsy, claiming that they were using the party to promote themselves to the detriment of the national interest.