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Cambodian Political Parties Remain Deadlocked


Supporters of National Rescue Party gather to give their thumbprint at the party's office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 31, 2013, as they complain that their names were not in the voting lists of July 28 election.

Supporters of National Rescue Party gather to give their thumbprint at the party's office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 31, 2013, as they complain that their names were not in the voting lists of July 28 election.

Cambodia's ruling and opposition parties returned to the negotiating table Tuesday in Phnom Penh seeking to end a political impasse over disputed elections.

The two sides met for three hours at the National Assembly, the legislative body boycotted by the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in the wake of July's election.

An opposition statement said the meeting was not a success because the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) refused to agree to an investigation of the recent election, which the CNRP said was marred by fraud.

But the head of the CPP negotiating team, Prom Sokha, said the talks were an important step towards reform.

"The ... point is the setting up of a mechanism to reform the national election committee in the future. Therefore, this meeting is a meeting to address the reform," he said.

Tuesday's discussions followed a visit to Cambodia by senior U.S. diplomat Scot Marciel (Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs). He told reporters Monday the U.S. was not trying to impose a solution on Cambodia.

"We support an increasingly stronger democracy in Cambodia. The solution has to be a Cambodian solution. We're not here to try to impose any solution, but we certainly support efforts to strengthen Cambodia's democratic process," said Marciel.

Marciel added the solution to Cambodia's political deadlock "has to be a Cambodian solution."

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Khmer service.
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