Interior Ministry Registers Nearly 70 Associations in 2022

The Interior Ministry registered nearly 70 associations in the last half of 2022’s Royal Gazette.

According to books 49 to 96 of 2022, the Interior Ministry registered 69 associations between March and December. Some associations say they oversee humanitarian work such as providing food to communities, while others are business associations, though many have provided little public information about their activities. Several organizations have publicly expressed their support for the government’s activities.

The books amount to half of last year’s Royal Gazette, but the documents themselves span nine months due to varying delays before their publication. The delay is usually around six months.

The Cambodian Oknha Association, which is attempting to teach ethics to tycoons and counts former Prime Minister Hun Sen as its honorary president and infamous tycoon Ly Yong Phat as its president, has said it registered with Interior ministry on October 25, 2022, but an official document has yet to be released in the Royal Gazette.

One group registered on July 5, 2022, the Association of Judicial Officials, was previously called the Association of Judicial Civil Servants and Prosecutors of the Supreme Court. Chiv Keng, the acting president of the Supreme Court, is a president of the association, according to Fresh News.

Several associations have expressed their political support of government decisions since being registered. The Cambodian People Network Association, registered on September 13, 2022, issued a statement on July 24, 2023 supporting the result of the 2023 election and adding that the election was free and fair. The association of Peace Youth Family Alliance Cambodia-Asia, meanwhile, issued a petition on March 2, 2023 saying it strongly supported the court in sentencing opposition leader Kem Sokha for treason.

The Cambodian Construction Stone Manufacturers Association, registered on July 28, 2022, also issued a statement on August 1, 2022, supporting changes to the Constitution ahead of the 2023 general election. The Southeast Youth Association meanwhile issued a statement on May 15, 2023, saying it supported the National Election Committee’s decision to stop the opposition Candelight Party’s registration for the 2023 national election.

By the end of the December 2022, there were 6,109 organizations and associations registered with the Interior Ministry total: 2,623 associations and 3,486 non-governmental organizations, according to former Interior Minister Sar Kheng, who shared the numbers at a forum between government and civil society organizations on January 10, 2023 at the Sokha Hotel in Phnom Penh.