Single title

The Relations Between Local and National Interests Within a Party

Occasional Papers on Democratic Development Vol. 2

This second volume of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s (KAF) “Occasional Papers on Democratic Development” deals with political party matters at the local level and the relations between the powerful top and the bottom of party organizations. This volume reflects two areas the KAF works in in the Kingdom of Cambodia: the promotion of political parties and of decentralization. Successful democratic decentralization of the state must be reflected by decentralized party structures.

Democracy is pluralistic by nature. Democrats welcome people have different interests and ideas. To reconcile them democracies depend very much on political parties. The success of a democratic society largely depends on the culture that prevails within and between parties. To strengthen the Cambodian society and to reach democratic normalcy political parties need to be included the modernization process.

In Cambodia modern democratic political parties are relatively young. Still, they have penetrated almost all sectors of public life. They compete fiercely since much of the access to chances in society depends on party dominance or good relations to dominant political forces. Cambodian political parties strive to improve their performance and are interested in exchanging views on party democracy with well meaning guests and partners. The Konrad Adenauer Foundations offers such dialogue and training for the parties represented in the Cambodian National Assembly. This volume emanates from our cooperation with these Cambodian political parties.

Our cooperation extends to ruling and opposition parties alike without discrimination. This is done with the conviction that Cambodia needs more than one political party to further develop democracy, rule of law, respect of human rights and broader based economic development for a peaceful future.

The KAF in Phnom Penh is indebted and grateful to Prof. Dr. Horst Posdorf, Member of the European Parliament for having written this paper for us and for his continuous support to our work in Cambodia since the year 2000. Based on the author’s experience of more than a dozen working visits to Cambodia, I feel that the paper focuses well on aspects of the theme relevant in the local context.

Wolfgang Meyer, Country Representative of Konrad Adenauer Foundation

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