News / Asia

Cambodia Opposition Calls Troop Deployment ‘Intimidation’

Cambodian military police officers stand by with their motorcycles at Stung Meanchey where Prime Minister Hun Sen made his first public appearance since Sunday's election, in Phnom Penh, July 31, 2013.
Cambodian military police officers stand by with their motorcycles at Stung Meanchey where Prime Minister Hun Sen made his first public appearance since Sunday's election, in Phnom Penh, July 31, 2013.
Robert Carmichael
— Cambodia’s opposition says the government’s decision to deploy soldiers to the capital Phnom Penh is a clear case of intimidation. The move comes more than a week after the July 28 general election - which both the ruling party and the opposition claim to have won.

The Cambodian government has deployed troops to Phnom Penh, claiming they are needed in order to deal with any violence in the event of opposition protests over the election result.

Local media reported that security forces, numbering in the hundreds, were ordered to the capital late Thursday. However the government would not comment on numbers.

Yim Sovann, a spokesman for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, or CNRP, condemned the decision to send troops. “This is a threat and intimidation to the people that is illegal,” he said.

The government’s decision follows nearly two weeks of disagreement between the ruling Cambodian People's Party and the opposition over a commission to investigate alleged electoral irregularities.

Yim Sovann insisted the opposition did not want violence, and said peaceful protest was the last resort should agreement on the commission not be reached.

“We, the CNRP, are looking for a peaceful solution to the problem - especially our stance to form a special commission to do the investigation and to solve the problem peacefully,” he said.

Cambodian security forces have a long history of partiality towards Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling CPP.

But government spokesman Phay Siphan said Friday that people had nothing to fear. The deployment, he said, came about partly in response to the opposition’s anti-Vietnamese comments, which he said could lead to violence.

During campaigning the opposition was criticized by rights groups and others for employing anti-Vietnamese rhetoric in a bid to appeal to those Cambodians mistrustful of their more powerful neighbour.

“The government has an obligation to make law and order in the city as well on the streets as well as respect the ordinary people, the way of their life. That’s our job, but we wish that all political parties will take care of their business peacefully in the office as well as in the National Assembly rather than urge innocent people onto the street - it doesn’t help,” said the spokesman.

Phay Siphan said security forces would remain in place in the capital until the results of the election were officially confirmed next month.

Both parties claim that they won the July 28 ballot, in which the opposition stunned the ruling party with a strong showing. 

The CNRP has since insisted on an independent commission to investigate what it claims was widespread electoral fraud, and says the National Election Committee, which has responsibility for managing the vote, cannot be trusted to act independently of the ruling party.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who is currently in the United States, has asked the United Nations to get involved in the investigation. 

Yim Sovann said a meeting Friday between the ruling party and the opposition had seen some progress.

“The outcome is both delegations from both parties go back to discuss with their top leaders to discuss about the composition of the special committee. And second point that we agree that U.N. should be the observers,” he said.

But he added that it was too early to say whether the opposition’s leaders would accept the deal.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid