Khmer citizens are given the right to establish association and political parties, as provided by the Constitution.
A political party is defined by the Law on Political Parties as a group of persons who have the same ideas and willingness and who voluntarily join together through a contract, to form a permanent and autonomous organization in order to participate in the national political life in accordance with liberal democratic and pluralism regime through free and fair elections.
At least 80 persons of 18 years or more and of Khmer citizenship are given the right to form a political party by filing only a letter of notice with the Ministry of Interior. The said letter must be responded to within 15 days, stating that it has been received; if beyond 15 days no response was made, it is considered as already received. The political party must, then, organize a vote to elect a provisional committee consisting of 7 members, at least 25 years in age, for the preparation of formalities and fulfilment of the conditions for the application for registration of the political party.
The political party must apply for registration in the political party register in order to obtain validity. It is required that it must have at least 4000 members coming from a number of provinces/municipalities.
Membership is open to those who have reached at least 18 years old and who have civil right. Membership is also voluntary; a member may apply for resignation without having the need to indicate his reason. A Khmer citizen may not be a member of more than one political party at the same time but if he is a member in many political parties simultaneously, membership in the last political party shall be considered valid. Religious priests, member of judiciary, members of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and National Police Forces are allowed to join but are prohibited from conducting activities showing support or opposition to any political party. Moreover, it is prohibited that a political party organize its organization structure within religious bodies, Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and within the National Police Forces.
Fifty-seven parties are registered. However, only three are currently represented in parliament—Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), FUNCINPEC (National United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful, and Cooperative Cambodia), and the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP). The CPP is the current power in Cambodia.
Cambodia: Political Parties. (n.d.). Retrieved from Global Security: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/cambodia/political-parties.htm.
List of Political Parties in Cambodia. (n.d.). Retrieved from World Public Library: http://www.worldlibrary.org/articles/list_of_political_parties_in_cambodia.
Law on Political Parties
Article 42 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia