GDP Leaders Believed to Have Asked to Join the CPP to Help Agricultural Development

Yang Saing Koma, leader of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP), may be seeking a change of political party. Photo: Yang Saing Koma Facebook page

PHNOM PENH — Yang Saing Koma, leader of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP), and Loek Sothea, GDP spokesperson and deputy secretary, are believed to have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) in the hope of contributing to the development of the agricultural sector.  

The two GDP members are believed to have sent letters to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting to be part of the CPP.

While the two GDP leaders could not be reached on Nov. 27, CPP spokesman Sok Eysan confirmed on Nov. 27 that the letters had been received. “Yes, that's right,” he said, adding that this was no problem as the CPP always welcomed those who wanted to join the party.

The letters of Saing Komar and Sothea were published on Nov. 27 by Fresh News, which said that the letters had been received from the cabinet of Prime Minister Hun Sen—researcher Astrid Noren-Nilsson of the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies at Lund University in Sweden has described Fresh News in 2020 as an integral part of the Cambodian government’s digital and overall strategies.

According to Fresh News, Yang Saing Koma, wrote two letters dated Nov. 23 to the prime minister.

In one letter written to Hun Sen as the leader of the CPP, Saing Koma praised the agricultural policy of the government, and added that it was similar to his own views based on his knowledge, skills and work experience in the field—he holds a Ph.D. in agriculture.

“In this regard, I would like to join the political life with the Cambodian People's Party to participate in the implementation of these policies successfully and fruitfully in order to improve the lives of farmers, food security, the environment and the national economy,” Saing Koma’s first letter read.

Then in his second letter sent to Hun Sen as prime minister, Saing Koma mentioned the efforts of Hun Sen to end the long war and achieving peace in the 1990s.

“In order to contribute to the Royal Government in the development of the nation, I would like to ask the Prime Minister for the opportunity to work with the Royal Government of Cambodia in the development of agriculture,” the second letter read.

Loek Sothea, GDP spokesperson and deputy secretary who holds a Master's Degree in Agriculture, also wrote two letters to Hun Sen requesting to be involved in politics as part of the CPP and be part of the government in agriculture. The date and the content of Sothea’s two letters are exactly the same as that of Yang Saing Koma.

GDP Chairman Yeng Virak and Secretary General Sam Inn could not be reached for comments on Nov. 27.

Yang Saing Koma was one of the founders of the Grassroots Democratic Party in 2015. The GDP, which is considered a party of intellectuals, participated in the 2018 national election but did not win a seat in the National Assembly.  However, the GDP won six seats in the 2022 commune elections.

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