SRP President Sam Rainsy addressed his party yesterday through video conference, appealing to the party’s standing committee and board of directors to restore the spirit of the SRP and for individuals to not get caught up their job titles.
“We have to think about the party thing and the personal thing. We have to return to our previous policies of…the Sam Rainsy Party, and we will do the decision-making together,” Mr Rainsy said from Paris, where he is currently living in self-imposed exile to avoid a jail sentence.
The SRP plans to transfer about 11 older lawmakers from the Assembly to stand for election to the Senate next year and replace them with younger lawmakers, SRP spokesman Yim Sovann said yesterday, adding that work in the Assembly is more vigorous because it requires a lot of travel to the provinces.
Because Assembly elections are not held until 2013, to replace an Assembly lawmaker, the party president must provide evidence that the departing lawmaker is not capable of carrying out the duties of office.
“We plan to transfer the old lawmakers of the National Assembly to stand for Senate next election. We have to share work, and we should not be concerned about power within the party,” Mr Sovann said.
“We would replace the Assembly lawmaker when the old lawmaker stands as a Senate candidate. We have agreed on this internal issue. The SRP does everything for the Cambodian people and for the nation, not for power in the party,” Mr Sovann said.
He added that some of the party’s 26 lawmakers would be replaced while others in the Assembly would not be removed. He would not tell a reporter who would be replaced or moved but confirmed that Mr Rainsy, Son Chhay, Mu Sochua and himself will remain in the Assembly.
SRP acting president Kong Kom said to some younger lawmakers it may look like the party is forcing some to accept the party decision, but said they must decide soon because they party would not wait for them. “If you do not decide soon, you will be left behind,” Mr Kom said. “The SRP wants to be a democratic force for change in Cambodia.”