The government on Thursday announced its recognition of the new “People Purpose Party”, with Ith Sarum as its president and founder, while civil society organisations expressed disapproval at the move, saying more political parties does not mean more quality.
A letter signed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said the ministry recognises the party, whose central headquarters is at #34, Street 20, Borey Piphup Thmey, Trapaing Thloeng village, Chom Chao commune, Por Sen Chey district, Phnom Penh.
The letter said the new party must act in accordance with the Law on Political Parties, other legal statutes and political party bylaws administered by the Ministry of Interior.
Sarum said the new party had been established with the aim of solving national problems and determining what action to take against the challenges the Kingdom faces.
He aims to build a warm political environment in order to achieve the people’s goals under national laws.
Now that the ministry has recognised the party, he said a working group will prepare the structure at the local level in order to introduce new policies for the people in the provinces.
Sarum confirmed that the People Purpose Party will compete in all national and sub-national elections.
“We are well aware that creating a new political party means we will be accused of some negative things, for example, that I am a puppet of someone, that I am only concerned about personal gain, or that I just want to become a high ranking official,” he said.
Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak said the ministry approved the establishment of the new People Purpose Party because experts have examined the conditions and criteria and found no problems.
“We already accepted it, perhaps since last week,” he said.
Sam Kuntheamy, the director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee For Free and Fair Elections, said the sequence of political party establishment is typical of Cambodian politics.
He said the new parties have been observing politics for many mandates already, and small parties just follow the big ones.
“It is just decoration. We can see that in the previous election, there were 20 parties and none of them won a seat except the CPP."
“Therefore, [the new party] is just created for the sake of it. There is no quality,” he said.
According to an announcement by the Ministry of Interior last year, there are currently 41 political parties registered in the Kingdom.