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

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

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.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid