Breakaway Party Becomes Country’s 10th in Past Year

A breakaway faction from the Cambodian National Justice Party—itself a recent breakaway from the Beehive Social Democratic Party—has formed a new political party, its founder announced on Friday.
The Khmer United Great Nation Party submitted an application on January 27 to register as an official political party with the Ministry of Interior, its president, Nhem Vanthorn, said on Friday.

If approved, it would become the 10th new party formed since the start of 2015. Mr. Vanthorn said his party had broken away from the National Justice Party due to a “difference of opinion” with that group’s leader, Heang Rithy.
Both Mr. Rithy and Mr. Van­thorn were officials with the Beehive party, which is run by popular ra­dio station owner Mam Sonando, until they sued Mr. Sonando for em­bezzlement in October.
Although some have suggested that the bonanza of new parties formed in the past year is part of a covert effort by the CPP to split the opposition, Mr. Vanthorn vehemently denied that this was true in his case.
“For me, there are no leaders from the ruling CPP, or senior figures at the top, or in the middle, or at the third tier of the CPP who have donated money directly to me for running the party to split the opposition party’s vote,” he said.

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