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.
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

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing More

Debris Found in Search for Missing Ship

Objects located Sunday have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240 meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, according to US Coast Guard More

Survivor: Gunman Spared 'Lucky One' to Give Police Message

Law enforcement official says a manifesto of several pages was recovered; contents not revealed More

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

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: 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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs