News / Asia

As Cambodia Election Impasse Continues, Opposition Plans Rally

Sam Rainsy, president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), addressing reporters at party headquarters, Phnom Penh, July 29, 2013.Sam Rainsy, president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), addressing reporters at party headquarters, Phnom Penh, July 29, 2013.
x
Sam Rainsy, president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), addressing reporters at party headquarters, Phnom Penh, July 29, 2013.
Sam Rainsy, president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), addressing reporters at party headquarters, Phnom Penh, July 29, 2013.
Robert Carmichael
Cambodia’s election remains mired in controversy, with both the ruling party and the opposition declaring victory in the July 28 ballot.  The leader of Cambodia’s opposition, Sam Rainsy, said Thursday that a committee to investigate alleged electoral irregularities remains the only acceptable solution to the ongoing political stalemate.

Sam Rainsy told VOA Thursday that a working group established by parliamentarians from the ruling party and the opposition to discuss forming an investigating committee appears to have fallen short of an agreement.

But he said the process had proved useful.

“It’s part of the protocol - right, it’s just to show that we have tried, successively, at different levels. At the end, the top leaders must talk directly. It has been useful in preparing for dialogue at the top level,” he said.

Both the ruling Cambodian People's Party, or CPP, and Rainsy’s Cambodia National Rescue Party, or CNRP, claim they won the election. The opposition says nationwide vote rigging swayed the outcome.

Rainsy stressed that the opposition would not compromise on its demand for a transparent investigation, and said the “full truth” must be exposed. Should that show that the ruling party had indeed won, Rainsy pledged that the opposition would accept it.

“We commit in advance. But on the other hand - the CPP must make the same commitment. If that after checking with witnesses - after checking that the figures were wrong - and it is actually the CNRP who won, they must accept this result as the real and the final result,” he said.

Last week the National Election Committee, or NEC, - the body that oversees elections - said preliminary results showed the ruling CPP had won a majority of seats in the 123-member parliament.

In recent days the NEC finished investigating complaints, and rejected all of the opposition’s submissions. The opposition said that was no surprise, given the NEC’s close ties to the ruling party.

The opposition’s complaints are now with the Constitutional Court - the country’s highest judicial body. Most of its appointees are connected to the ruling party.

Rainsy held out little hope the Court will be able to resolve issues to the opposition’s satisfaction. The opposition has pressed for an independent group to examine election irregularities.

Rainsy also insisted that a large peaceful rally planned for Monday was not to protest the election results, but to explain to its supporters what it has been doing, and to hear from its supporters what actions they would like it to take.

Ahead of that rally, Rainsy said he and deputy party leader Kem Sokha will also travel to other parts of the country.

“The purpose is to remain in touch with the voters, because we are accountable to the voters," he said. "Voters have voted in unprecedented numbers for us - they want to know: What are you going to do with our votes? Are you going to sell our votes to the CPP? Or you are going to defend the ideas that were contained, the hopes that were contained?”

Meantime residents in Phnom Penh have told local media that the authorities have forced them to sign statements saying they support the provisional election result and promising not to join any protests.

Government officials told the Phnom Penh Post newspaper that thousands of people had signed the statements, but claimed they had done so voluntarily.

Cambodian rights groups and election monitors have condemned it as intimidation and said compelling people to sign was incompatible with free and fair elections.

In recent weeks the government has dispatched troops and armored vehicles to the capital, ostensibly to keep order in the event of post-election violence.

  • Sam Rainsy, president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), visits a polling station during the general elections in Phnom Penh, July 28, 2013.
  • Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen shows his inked finger after casting his ballot in Takhmau town, south of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 28, 2013. Hun Sen has been on the job for 28 years.
  • An election official shows a ballot paper in Phnom Penh, July 28, 2013.
  • Heng Samrin, president of Cambodia's National Assembly, casts his vote at the polling station number 0370 at Outdor primary school in Kampong Cham town, July 28, 2013. (Heng Reaksmey/VOA Khmer)
  • Riot policemen protect a man accused of trying to hit a Buddhist monk, during protests against alleged election irregularities in Phnom Penh July 28, 2013.
  • A police vehicle burns following a brief clash at the end of election day in Phnom Penh July 28, 2013.
  • Princess Norodom Arunrasmy, president of the royalist FUNCIPEC Party, casts her vote a polling station at the Teaksin primary school in Kampong Cham town, northeast of Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh. (Heng Reaksmey/VOA Khmer)
  • A scene at a polling station in Kampong Cham town, northeast of Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh. (Heng Reaksmey/VOA Khmer)
  • Scene at a polling station in Prey Veng town, in Cambodia's eastern Prey Veng province, July 28, 2013. (Kong Sothanarith/VOA Khmer)

You May Like

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Russia’s Prosecutor General to Review Legality of Baltics Independence

Move, announced Tuesday, has alarmed Baltic States and strained even further their increasingly tense ties with Moscow More

US Urged to Keep Up Pressure on Cuba Rights

Communist government continues to hold dozens of political prisoners, tightly restricts freedom of expression, uses threats, intimidation to discourage critics, according to activist groups More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
August 25, 2013 1:32 PM
HunSen buying votes and support?

http://www.erikapineros.com/pm-hun-sen-makes-first-appeareance-after-elections/

by: justice from: florida
August 25, 2013 12:43 AM
viet-con invaded Cambodia and
installed a puppet which benefeited
current Vietnam.

by: Gary Fultheim from: Long Beach calif
August 22, 2013 11:22 PM
Long Before the elections VOA and most of the Media predicted a CPP win. For years Sam Rainsy has been lieing to the population and practice KR racist philosophy..Now when he lost he again cries fowl and fraud.he has never done anything good for Cambodia. Hun Sen brought stability and by the will of the population has been several times re elected..The Military is in Phnom Phen to protect Government and private property along with citizens.Would you prefer the protesters burn down the city?
In Response

by: Bopha from: New york
August 25, 2013 12:26 AM
Gary, so you would trade corruption for stability? Go to Cambodia and see where all the money are going. Even though Cambodia is growing at a 6% annual rate, only the rich and foreigners are benefiting from this growth. Cambodia deserve better!
In Response

by: samphos@hotmail.com from: Massachusetts USA
August 24, 2013 9:04 AM
In my opinion, I strongly believe that both parties (CPP/CNRP) will never come down to the peaceful result even though they have been meeting with NEC, highest court in Cambodia, CPP, and CONFREL, back and forth. If you put this into perspective, when you play game, there only 2 outcomes (win or lose), right? For this election there only 2 outcomes too. Either one party lose or win, but not both. CPP won 68 and CNRP won 55. Now, if you are going to argue this back and forth and CNRP wants to talk peacefully with CPP/NEC/Highest Court, etremely still won't work. Why do I say that? Just think! If I win a lottery, do I give the ticket away? of course not. No matter how many times attend whatever meeting, I will alway deny the result because my goal is to retain this winning. Back to meeting I have heard that both party CPP/CNRP want to talk to find a solution, not going to work. The outcome for CPP has 3 things (step down, retain power, death) and the outcome for CNRP has 3 things (protest, win, lose). Ultimately if both parties want to lock their winning, meeting won't help unless CNRP finally say ok Mr. Hun Sen I am agree to work with you, but this is not easy because the people of Cambodia and who are living oversea will be not part of it. Finally, people themselves will rise and protest without the leader of CNRP. Finally, those meeting back and forth, will not work. It just give time for CPP/NEC to prepare their chess on the board.

by: Casey from: Minnesota
August 22, 2013 8:21 PM
Vietnam and China back Hun Sen - weapons from China and soldiers from Vietnam solely for the purpose of killing Khmer in the event of an uprising when CPP is again announced as the victors. The is little hope for the Khmer people against this monster.

by: karuna Tek from: Long Beach, CA
August 22, 2013 11:43 AM
Without the U.N. gets involved, Cambodian people will never get justice and fairness about the election fraud. NEC is alligned with CPP and ofcourse they will be biased against CNRP. NEC is working for hun sen and CPP and is not to be trusted to independently investigate the election fraud and irrigularities.
In Response

by: Anonymous
August 23, 2013 7:55 AM
NEC, Hun Sen and his regime are nothing but a bunch of joke. Not realizing that they allow their puppet masters (China and Vietnam) to destroy Cambodia bit by bit.
In Response

by: Charles Ward from: Sihanoukville, Cambodia
August 22, 2013 7:51 PM
Hello Karuna,
I am a U.S. Citizen here in Cambodia, and I agree with you, as every Cambodian should realize, that the NEC is CPP and impartiality is not their job. their job is to MAINTAIN CONTROL under the name of COMMUNISM.
I PRAT the People of CAMBODIA Stand UP and Say "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH"
In Response

by: rk from: collegeville, pa
August 22, 2013 12:48 PM
Don't negotiate with the CPP out of fear. Demand the U.N. presence and assistance to investigate irregularities. The NEC is a CPP electoral machine. Don't waste more time with the NEC.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs