News / Asia

    International Pressure Can Prevent Cambodian Political Stalemate, Analysts Say

    President of National Rescue Party Sam Rainsy, center, gives a speech during a public forum on the topic of the election of July 28, at their party's office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 31, 2013.
    President of National Rescue Party Sam Rainsy, center, gives a speech during a public forum on the topic of the election of July 28, at their party's office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 31, 2013.
    As a political deadlock over last month’s Cambodian election results becomes more likely, experts in the United States say international pressure may be the best way to hasten the formation of a new Cambodian government.

    The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) says it will not concede the elections, which officials from the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) say they won.

    The stalemate could result in an opposition boycott of the first National Assembly meeting two months from now, making the formation of a new government legally impossible.

    Opposition leader Sam Rainsy has called for public demonstrations if an independent investigation is not held into allegations of irregularities, which he says cost the opposition the election.

    It remains unclear how much the international community can do, however, or how much the ruling party and Prime Minister Hun Sen will allow.

    John Ciorciari, a public policy professor at the University of Michigan says the CPP is not likely to give up control of the process.

    “It is very likely that a U.N. inquiry would uncover some evidence of fraud in Cambodia's recent elections. That would raise pressure on the CPP to re-run the election or hand over more seats. For that reason, the CPP will probably not agree to any inquiry in which it is not represented," said Ciorciari.

    Both sides can find a compromise that won’t end in “a head-on collision in the streets,” he said. “The CPP could offer appointments, pledges of specific policy reforms, or take other steps short of agreeing to a full U.N. inquiry. The CNRP's best strategy is to maintain pressure on the government through peaceful protests and calls for an inquiry while negotiating privately with CPP leaders for concessions. Any CNRP protests have to remain entirely peaceful to avoid justifying a crackdown.”

    The CPP may have difficulty bringing opposition lawmakers over to its side with incentives, he said. And “a prolonged period without a government is not in the country’s interest.” However, the CPP does not see the U.N. or Western nations as “honest brokers, which makes it hard for them to play mediating roles,” he said.

    Shihoko Goto, a researcher at the Woodrow Wilson Center, a policy research organization in Washington, said Cambodians still have faith in the democratic process, so calls for a recount should be taken seriously.

    “The international community, including the United States, could pressure the Hun Sen government to do so," said Goto.

    A continued stand-off could lead to unrest, she said, and that could in turn lead to a crackdown. “While the king has called for post-election harmony, there is real fear of the government taking action against protesters. This should be avoided at all costs. Yet there is unfortunately little appetite from the international community to take preemptive measures at this stage, as they expect any unresolved issues over election results to be handled domestically.”

    Brad Adams, Asia director for Human Rights Watch, told VOA Khmer the CPP is “trying to run a one-party state.” And, he says, donors should make sure that their aid does not go to a government formed from a “stolen election.”

    “It really depends on politics. Is the ruling party strong enough to keep foreigners or independent people and institutions out of the review process? I think if Cambodian donors insist on it, the Cambodian government has no choice but to allow it," said Adams.

    Morana Song, a U.N. spokeswoman, said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is following the situation in the country closely.

    “The United Nations encourages the competent authorities to adjudicate complaints fairly and transparently, with the ultimate aim of ensuring the accurate determination of, and respect for, the will of the Cambodian people,” Song said in an email.

    This report was originally prepared by the VOA Khmer Service

    You May Like

    Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora