Chea Chamroeun, who became a member of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party in 1993, submitted a resignation this week, claiming who would rather focus on communities than remain in a climate of political conflict.
In a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen, Chea Chamroeun, who once served on the National Election Committee and was a member of parliament, said he would focus on teaching young Cambodians about democracy.
Political battles between the ruling party and opposition have neglected “the people at the grassroots, who are facing hunger and drought,” he wrote. “If I have the opportunity, I will create a political party by gathering scholars and the youth, to target democracy.”
Leaving the party would give him more freedom to work, he wrote, “because in the party, there is a borderline.”
His letter of resignation was an uncommon occurance, in a party that has worked hard to resolve internal divisions, while remaining in power for decades.
Ou Virak, head of the think tank Future Forum, said the resignation of a CPP lawmaker could “lose the image of the party” and have some effect on its credibility.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the decision would not affect the party’s reputation. “It’s nothing at all,” he said. “There's more than 5 million members, and if one resigns, it is not a problem. It’s normal, this issue, it is the political right of every person.”