Candlelight Party

The Candlelight Party (Khmer: គណបក្សភ្លើងទៀន)[5] is a liberal party in Cambodia. The party was a member of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats, Liberal International, and the Alliance of Democrats. It is the largest opposition party in Cambodia, and the main challenger to the ruling Cambodian People's Party.[2][6][7] The party resumed political activity in October 2021 after being inactive since 2012.

Candlelight Party
គណបក្សភ្លើងទៀន
PresidentTeav Vannol
Vice PresidentsThach Setha[1]
Son Chhay
FounderSam Rainsy
Founded2 November 1995; 26 years ago (1995-11-02)
HeadquartersSangkat Veal Sbov, Khan Chbar Ampov, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
IdeologyLiberalism
Liberal democracy[2]
Progressivism[3]
Political positionCentre to centre-left
Regional affiliationCouncil of Asian Liberals and Democrats
Slogan"សីលធម៌ សច្ចធម៌ យុត្តិធម៌" ("Integrity, Truth, Justice")[4]
Senate
0 / 62
National Assembly
0 / 125
Commune chiefs
4 / 1,652
Commune councillors
2,198 / 11,622
Website
candlelightparty.org
Sam Rainsy campaign bus during the 2008 election

The party, founded in 1995 as the Khmer Nation Party,[8] renamed the Sam Rainsy Party in 1998,[8] and recently in 2018, it was renamed the Candlelight Party. This party is currently the official opposition to the ruling Cambodian People's Party. Since the decline of the junior coalition partner, FUNCINPEC, in the 2008 National Assembly elections, the Candlelight Party is now considered the second largest party and the largest opposition party in Cambodia. The party won 15 of the 123 seats in the National Assembly in the 1998 elections, 24 seats in the 2003 elections, and 26 seats in the 2008 elections. The CP won two seats in the 2006 Senate elections. In 2009, it formally allied with the Human Rights Party in the Democratic Movement of Change.

In 2008, party activist Tuot Saron was arrested on a charge of "being an accomplice to unlawful confinement".[9] International human rights groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International described the charges as a politically motivated attempt to intimidate other SRP activists.[9][10] Tuot Saron was released on 26 November 2010, following a Royal Pardon decree.[11]

Election resultsEdit

General electionsEdit

Election Leader Votes Seats Position Government
# % ± # ±
1998 Sam Rainsy 699,665 14.3 New
15 / 122
New   3rd CPPFUNCINPEC
2003 1,130,423 21.9  7.6
24 / 123
 9   3rd CPP–FUNCINPEC
2008 1,316,714 21.9  
26 / 123
 2   2nd CPP–FUNCINPEC

Communal electionsEdit

Election Leader Votes Chiefs Councillors Position
# % ± # ± # ±
2002 Sam Rainsy 736,454 16.9 New
13 / 1,621
New
1,329 / 11,261
New   3rd
2007 1,303,906 25.2  8.3
28 / 1,621
 15
2,660 / 11,353
 1,331   2nd
2012 1,224,460 20.8  4.4
22 / 1,633
 6
2,155 / 11,459
 505   2nd
2017 Teav Vannol Did not contest
0 / 1,646
 22
0 / 11,572
 2,155
2022 1,610,556 22.2  22.2
4 / 1,652
 4
2,198 / 11,622
 2,198   2nd

Senate electionsEdit

Election Leader Votes Seats Position Outcome
# % ± # ±
2006 Kong Korm 1,165 10.3
2 / 57
 5   3rd Minority
2012 2,503 21.9  11.6
11 / 57
 9   2nd Minority

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Candlelight Party congress issues official policy plans". Phnom Penh Post. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  2. ^ a b "How the Candlelight Party Can Restore Political Pluralism to Cambodia". The Diplomat. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  3. ^ "Cambodian Opposition Rises from the Ashes Ahead of Local Elections". Voice of America. 3 June 2022. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  4. ^ "Sam Rainsy Party".
  5. ^ "Candlelight Party amends statue in Congress". Khmer Times. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  6. ^ Nov, Sivutha (8 June 2022). "20 NA seats possible for Candlelight Party: Yara". The Phnom Penh Post. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  7. ^ "Opposition Candlelight Party gains steam in Cambodia in shadow of crackdown". Radio Free Asia. 7 February 2022. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Cambodia's Local Elections Have Ended Hun Sen's One-Party System". thediplomat.com. Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  9. ^ a b "Cambodia Prisoner of Conscience Tuot Saron". Amnesty International. September 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  10. ^ "Cambodia: Opposition Officials Arrested to Sway Elections". Human Rights Watch. 23 March 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  11. ^ "Tout Saron, SRP activist and Amnesty Int'l "Prisoner of Conscience", finally released from jail". Cambodian Today. 15 December 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2011.

External linksEdit