Real Camerin, a former Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker, registered his Khmer Conservatism Party with the Ministry of Interior on Wednesday.
The party was told to respect the Law on Political Parties after Minister of Interior Sar Kheng signed a prakas approving its registration.
“The Khmer Conservatism Party will have to conduct its activities according to the legal procedures outlined in the Law on Political Parties and the party’s bylaws lodged at the ministry,” the prakas said.
The prakas also called on authorities at all levels to be informed of the matter.
Camerin told The Post on Thursday that his party would take part in the 2022 commune council elections and the following year’s national elections.
He said the membership of the party was mixed and that he had already set up offices in 17 provinces.
“My party will not attack other parties and we won’t say that our party is the best. We will take part in politics to serve people in the community and to show them how capable we are in serving the nation.
“So we will go into the community to demonstrate our ability to win people’s hearts,” Camerin said.
The former lawmaker for Svay Rieng province said he had to form another party after the CNRP was dissolved.
He said he could not be involved in politics without forming another party and denied accusations he had betrayed the CNRP.
“They said I betrayed the party and the nation, but only I know the truth. I had reasons for doing this.
“Firstly, the CNRP was dissolved according to the law. Secondly, I was banned from politics. So when the government paved the way for me to come back, I returned to politics. This is the truth I accept, and they have to as well,” Camerin said.
With CNRP “acting president” Sam Rainsy announcing his return to Cambodia in November and the government saying his arrest was being prepared for, Camerin said “the wrongdoer should accept the truth and the rulers should show sympathy”.
“If we think of the interests of the nation then we can solve all problems,” he said.
Chhim Kan, the director of the Department of Associations and Political Parties at the Ministry of Interior, said on Thursday that there were 43 political parties now officially registered in Cambodia.
CNRP vice-president Mu Sochua said the number of political parties was not a measure of democracy.
“The real issue is free and fair elections and true democracy, not how many parties will be created. Voters were not fooled in 2018,” Sochua tweeted in response to the registering of the Khmer Conservatism Party.