New Khmer Front Party To Run in Election

The Ministry of Interior has permitted the Democratic Front of Khmer Students and Intellec­tuals to form the Khmer Front Party, ministry officials said Thursday. 

“We already registered the par­ty. According to the law, we now can accept the party,” said Lay Voharith, director of the ministry’s Department of Political Affairs.

The government had earlier rejected the Democratic Front’s request to form a political party for this year’s general elections.

The new party will be anti-communist, rallying against the CPP be­cause it was installed by the Viet­namese—a creed already followed by the Democratic Front, said Sun Sokunmealea, vice pres­i­dent of the Democratic Front and its party.

“We will continue our Front pol­­icy to oppose the Cambodian Peo­­ple’s Party and the Vietnam­ese,” Sun Sokunmealea said, add­ing that the group also will try to de­­fend Cambodia from border in­cursions. It also vows to oppose corruption and aims to form a legitimate judicial system.

“Our party is a youth party. Of all Cambodian people, youth nev­er make mistakes,” Sun Sokun­mealea said. “The Cambodian People’s Party is not loyal to the Cambodian people. The party is a Vietnamese puppet.”

The Khmer Front Party is willing to cooperate with other democratic parties, however, and plans to provide voters an alternative to the slim political pickings comprising the general election ballot.

“2003 is the year that our party lets people choose. I think that Cam­bodian people will support us,” she said.

Sun Sokunmealea said the party would democratically elect a “well-educated” representative in each of the country’s 1,621 com­munes to teach people about the democratic process.

Members of the Democratic Front of Khmer Students and In­tellectuals were accused of be­ing Khmer Rouge sympathizers as they marched in front of the Na­tional Assembly on the Jan 7 holiday in protest of the 1979 Viet­nam­­ese invasion of Cambodia.

Demonstrators were confronted by members of the Pagoda Boys Association, a pro-government group that has been ac­cused of using force against workers’ unions.

 

 

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