Visit our new website: worldnews.easybranches.com

CNRP Officials Fly to Visit Rainsy as Party Turns Five

  • Mon, 17 Jul 2017 19:19

Senior members of the CNRP traveled to Hong Kong over the weekend to meet with exiled opposition figure Sam Rainsy ahead of the promulgation of a law designed to sever Mr. Rainsy’s ties to his former party on the eve of its fifth anniversary.

At least two separate CNRP delegations made an “unofficial visit,” according to CNRP Vice President Mu Sochua, who made the trip. Photographs uploaded to Facebook by Vice President Eng Chhay Eang showed what appeared to be more than 30 party lawmakers, members and supporters gathered in the city.

Members of the CNRP traveled to Hong Kong over the weekend to meet with their former president Sam Rainsy. (Facebook)

The meeting comes on the heels of amendments to the Law on Political Parties passed last week by the National Assembly that, once signed by the king, will bar parties from associating with convicts or featuring their likeness in party media.

Prime Minister Hun Sen proposed the changes earlier this month to sideline Mr. Rainsy, whose pile of legally dubious court cases forced his resignation from the party in February after the CPP pushed through an initial round of amendments to the law.

“We know that we must be ready when the new law takes effect,” Ms. Sochua said on Sunday. “We need to take this opportunity to visit Sam Rainsy.”

Ms. Sochua was vague about what was discussed during the meetings, saying only that Mr. Rainsy had congratulated the party on its commune election results and praising the former leader as a “hero.”

Mr. Rainsy said the gathering was “like a family meeting” of old colleagues and that he was “very touched” to see them again.

“I am sure we will be united again soon under the same roof,” he wrote in an email on Sunday.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the Senate’s permanent committee would set a date for a full vote on the proposed changes today. Once approved by the Senate, which is controlled by the ruling party, the legislation will reach the CPP-friendly Constitutional Council for review before being pushed to King Norodom Sihamoni to sign the law into existence.

King Sihamoni did not sign off on the earlier amendments to the law in March because he was in China for a medical checkup. That duty fell to Senate President and CPP stalwart Say Chhum instead.

“We’ll wait and see…whether you dare” to meet Mr. Rainsy after the law is passed, Mr. Eysan said on Sunday.

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the day Mr. Rainsy’s Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) and Mr. Sokha’s Human Rights Party (HRP) put aside mutual distrust at a meeting in Manila to form what they initially called “The Cambodia Democratic Movement for National Rescue.”

Both parties had made overtures at a union since Mr. Sokha formed his party in 2007, but were scuttled over personal rivalries between the two leaders, organizational differences in their parties and mutual suspicions over CPP ties.

But analysts said the 2012 commune elections, which saw the SRP losing seats as the HRP made gains, gave the parties more equal footing for negotiations that led to the merger.

The CNRP surprised political watchers and the ruling party with its strong 2013 national election showing, followed by a negotiated end to the political deadlock the next year, the terms of which were quickly violated by the CPP.

The following years saw opposition members beaten, jailed and exiled as a slew of criminal charges, widely perceived as politically motivated, mounted against Mr. Rainsy.

The party’s greatest accomplishment is simply its endurance in the face of both external pressure and internal divisions, according to Sebastian Strangio, author of “Hun Sen’s Cambodia.”

“I think the fact that they’ve held together so far…reflects the fact that they realize they can potentially win power, win an election together,” he wrote in an email.

But with a CNRP-led government “almost unthinkable” in the face of CPP dominance, Mr. Strangio said a more likely scenario might see Mr. Sokha negotiating with the ruling party to form a coalition if the party did well in next year’s national vote.

“That’s something Sam Rainsy would never have entertained,” he said.

(Additional reporting by Brendan O’Byrne)

sokhean@cambodiadaily.com, paviour@cambodiadaily.com

© 2017, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.

The Cambodia Daily

Tags


US Weekly

Related Stories

Party, govt. agree to push for measures to curb digital sex crimes
  • Tue, 26 Sep 2017 08:24

The ruling party and government agreed Tuesday to push for authorities' regular inspection of subways and other public f 코리아헤럴드

German far-right party raises concerns about Nazi ideology of the past, warns ex-Merkel official
  • Tue, 26 Sep 2017 04:34

"Part of this movement are people who use language that we have heard in Germany about 80 years ago," says Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. Euro...

Strong Showing by Nationalist Party Jolts German Politics
  • Tue, 26 Sep 2017 03:39

An antiestablishment, nationalist party won a foothold in Germany’s parliament Sunday, jolting the country’s political establishment and sending ...

Party Schools: Safe Spaces Don't Exist at Chinese Universities
  • Tue, 26 Sep 2017 03:09

China’s Communist Party and President Xi Jinping have intensified steps to bolster party teachings and mute criticism on college campuses. WSJ.com:...

Bali volcano: Tremors increase, airport officials prepare an emergency plan
  • Tue, 26 Sep 2017 00:39

On the go and no time to finish that story right now? Your News is the place for you to save content to read later from any device. Register with us a...

Group project? Taking turns, working with friends may improve grades
  • Tue, 26 Sep 2017 00:30

A new study with college students has found that the social dynamics of a group, such as whether one person dominates the conversation or whether stud...

Germany’s far-right AfD party: 5 things you need to know
  • Mon, 25 Sep 2017 23:31

It could be said that the underlying winner of Germany's election Sunday was ultimately the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Europe News

Cambodia's Opposition Puts Out Banners Calling for Leader's Release
  • Mon, 25 Sep 2017 23:12

Cambodia's main opposition party on Monday put up banners around the country calling for the release of its detained leader Kem Sokha in a challen...

Tsai stonewalls pardon proposal, calls for constitutional reform at party convention
  • Mon, 25 Sep 2017 21:41

(ChinaPost.com.tw) - President Tsai Ing-wen called for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to push for constitutional reforms in voting righ...

Abe gambles on snap election as Koike starts new party
  • Mon, 25 Sep 2017 18:25

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Monday that he will dissolve the Lower House for a snap election when the Diet convenes for an extraordinary sessi...

Five museums in Europe you must see - and five you've never heard of
  • Mon, 25 Sep 2017 17:25

Whether you're morely likely to wander around the Louvre, or to visit a quirky museum dedicated to a sole ginger cat named John Pierpont Morgan, visit...

CNRP commune chief charged with assault
  • Mon, 25 Sep 2017 15:16

A CNRP commune chief was charged yesterday morning for allegedly assaulting one of his constituents in Kampong Cham's Chrey Vien commune during a ...


News Categories