Guide to Political Parties Contesting the 2022 Commune Election

Prime Minister Hun Sen votes on July 29, 2018 in Kandal province. (VOD)
Prime Minister Hun Sen votes on July 29, 2018 in Kandal province. (VOD)
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Cambodian People’s Party

The CPP is the grand ol’ party of the country and goes into the election with complete control over all but one commune in country.

Contesting in 25 provinces,
1,652 communes.

Fielded 28,000 candidates, of which 7,264 (26%) are women. 

Candlelight Party

The Candlelight Party, formerly the Sam Rainsy Party, is vying for the mantle of the primary opposition party with the most candidates across the country after the CPP.

Contesting in 25 provinces,
1,632 communes*.

Fielded 23,367 candidates, of which 5,320 (23%) are women.

*According to the NEC. The party said all but three, or 1,649.


The royalist Funcinpec is transitioning from the late Norodom Ranariddh to his son, Prince Norodom Chakravuth, and last won a commune chief seat in 2012.

Contesting in 25 provinces,
688 communes.

Fielded 9,055 candidates, of which 3,406 (38%) are women.

Khmer National United Party

The KNUP is the only party to hold a commune chief position heading into the June election, a seat that was previously held by Funcinpec. It is led by general Nhek Bun Chhay.

Contesting in 25 provinces,
617 communes.

Fielded 8,078 candidates, of which 3,535 (44%) are women.

Cambodia National Love Party

A new CNRP-linked party, the CNLP was cofounded by Chiv Cata and Kang Kimhak in 2020 after they were rehabilitated following a political ban.

Contesting in 18 provinces,
329 communes.

Fielded 4,520 candidates, of which 1,833 (41%) are women. 

Cambodia Nationality Party

The Cambodia Nationality Party was one of two small parties to be handed National Assembly seats after the CNRP was dissolved in 2017.

Contesting in 21 provinces,
287 communes.

Fielded 3,806 candidates, of which 2,079 (47%) are women.

Cambodian Youth Party

The Cambodian Youth Party is led by Pich Sros, who notably filed a complaint against the CNRP in 2017 leading to the opposition party’s dissolution.

Contesting in 18 provinces,
119 communes.

Fielded 1,812 candidates, of which 844 (49%) are women.

Khmer Will Party

The CNRP offshoot party is headed by Kong Monika, who is former SRP leader Kong Korm’s son and the brother of ex-CNRP lawmaker Kong Saphea who was beaten outside the National Assembly in 2016.

Contesting in 10 provinces,
65 communes.

Fielded 962 candidates, of which 476 (49%) are women.

Cambodia Reform Party

The party is headed by former CNRP lawmakers Pol Ham and Ou Chanrath, who are known to be close to former CNRP president Kem Sokha.

Contesting in 11 provinces, 50 communes.

Fielded 728 candidates, of which 257 (35%) are women.


Yem Ponhearith, who heads the party, is also a close ally of Kem Sokha, making his the second CNRP-linked party with ties to the former CNRP president.

Contesting in 10 provinces,
39 communes.

Fielded 641 candidates, of which 227 (35%) are women.

Grassroots Democratic Party

The fledgling political party, founded by former civil society members in 2015, did not fare well in the 2017 and 2018 elections despite pitching itself as an independent opposition entity.

Contesting in 15 provinces,
34 communes.

Fielded 446 candidates, of which 132 (30%) are women.

Khmer United Party

The party, orginally named the Kem Ley Party, was formed by a CNRP supporter and the political analyst’s brother Kem Rithisith.

Contesting in 9 provinces,
33 communes.

Fielded 513 candidates, of which 274 (53%) are women.

Beehive Social Democratic Party

Outspoken radio-station owner Mam Sonando had a colorful career as a journalist before diving into the world of politics, but has failed to deliver in the last two elections.

Contesting in 10 provinces,
24 communes.

Fielded 403 candidates, of which 197 (49%) are women.


Cambodia Indigenous People’s Democracy Party

The party, which has advocated for the rights of minorities and their ancestral lands, has had little success at garnering votes in the 2017 and 2018 elections.

Contesting in 3 provinces,
19 communes.

Fielded 194 candidates, of which 36 (19%) are women.

Ekpheap Cheat Khmer Party

The party is now headed by Un Chim, who was last year accused of faking a voice message to make it sound like it was from Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Contesting in 4 provinces,
14 communes.

Fielded 153 candidates, of which 53 (35%) are women.

Reaksmey Khemara Party

The Reaksmey Khemara Party was formed mere months before the 2018 elections and came dead last at the ballot box.

Contesting in 3 provinces,
6 communes.

Fielded 65 candidates, of which 19 (29%) are women.

Khmer Economic Development Party

The Khmer Economic Development Party had 15 minutes of fame in 2018 when it was handed one of the CNRP’s 55 lawmaker seats in the National Assembly.

Contesting in 3 provinces,
4 communes.

Fielded 43 candidates, of which 11 (26%) are women.

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