Cambodia National Rescue Party
Published 1st August, 2013
The Cambodia National Rescue Party was founded on 17th July 2012 as an electoral alliance between the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party. The party believes in Liberalism, Nationalism, Liberal democracy and Human rights.
The Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) was founded in March 1998 and has been the main opposition to the CPP throughout its short history. In 1998 the SRP won 15 seats, that went up to 24 seats in 2003 and in 2008 it increased again to 26 seats. The Human Rights Party (HRP) was founded on 22nd July 2007 and described itself as a Centrist Party. In the 2008 general election the HRP won three seats in its first electoral outing.
Both parties agreed to merge into the Cambodia National Rescue Party in April 2012.
Sam Rainsy, the leader of the new party, was originally a member of FUNCINPEC and in the 1993 government was made Minister of Finance. He quickly gathered a following and was known for his outspoken denunciations of corruption and demanded transparency and accountability in government. In 1994 he was dismissed from his post and expelled from FUNCINPEC. He formed a new party, the Khmer National Party which was subsequently renamed the Sam Rainsy Party. As already described, the party increased its seats in every election. Sam Rainsy went into self-imposed exile in 2005 because the parliament stripped him of his parliamentary immunity and he felt that charges were to be trumped up against him. They were and it was only on July 12, 2013 that King Norodom Sihamoni granted a royal pardon to Rainsy and he returned to fight the general election of that year but was not allowed to stand as a candidate.
The new party appears to have won around 56 seats in the 2013 general election.