News / Asia

    Cambodia Opposition Calls for Outside Pressure on Government

    Supporters of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), gather during a protest at the Freedom Park in central Phnom Penh, Oct. 24, 2013.
    Supporters of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), gather during a protest at the Freedom Park in central Phnom Penh, Oct. 24, 2013.
    Robert Carmichael
    Tens of thousands of protesters have gathered in Cambodia's capital this week calling for an independent probe of alleged election fraud, and for the United States and Britain, among other countries, to weigh in on the post-election deadlock. Protesters have come to the capital from all parts of the country.

    The three-day rally in Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park was called by the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, or CNRP.

    Protesters want an independent investigation into the bitterly contested July ballot, and continue to stress their opposition to the newly formed government of Prime Minister Hun Sen, which they maintain is illegal.

    On Wednesday around 10,000 people marched to deliver a petition thumb-printed by more than two million people to the United Nations office, in which they again called for an investigation.

    On Thursday, thousands more marched to the embassies of the United States and the United Kingdom to deliver letters asking those countries to get involved in resolving the political impasse.

    Protester Ruon Sambath, a 67-year-old farmer, said as far as he was concerned, Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People's Party, or CPP, rigged the election result. He wanted the U.N. and countries like the United States to push for an investigation.

    He said, “This is what voters wanted when they cast their ballots - they made the decision to change the leader but in the end the party that lost still managed to win.”

    • A young protester calls for Prime Minister Hun Sen to step down on the final day of a three-day rally organized by opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, Phnom Penh, Oct. 25, 2013. (Heng Reaksmey/VOA Khmer)
    • High school students peek through a school gate to cheer and take pictures of a protest in Phnom Penh, Oct. 25, 2013. (Heng Reaksmey/VOA Khmer)
    • A young female protester who passed out due to heat was helped by fellow protesters, Phnom Penh, Oct. 25, 2013. (Heng Reaksmey/VOA Khmer)
    • Opposition leader Sam Rainsy leads supporters to submit petitions to Western embassies calling for an independent investigation into alleged election irregularities, Phnom Penh, Oct 24, 2013. (Heng Reaksmey/VOA Khmer)
    • Opposition supporters wave national flags of some Western countries who were signatory parties to the 22 year old Paris Peace Agreement, Phnom Penh, Oct 24, 2013. (Heng Reaksmey/VOA Khmer)
    • A Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) supporter wears a ribbon that reads “When there is justice, there is peace,” Phnom Penh, Oct. 23, 2013. (Khoun Theara/VOA Khmer)
    • Phnom Penh residents came out to cheer protesters when they marched by, Oct. 23, 2013. (Khoun Theara/VOA Khmer)
    • Buddhist monks took part in the opposition protest despite warning from head monks to stay away from political rally, Phnom Penh, Oct. 23, 2013. (Heng Reaksmey/VOA Khmer)
    • Construction workers on scaffolding ceased their work to watch opposition protest and take pictures, Phnom Penh, Oct. 23, 2013. (Khoun Theara/VOA Khmer)
    • Protesters return to Freedom Park where some of them spend the night, Phnom Penh, Oct. 23, 2013. (Khoun Theara/VOA Khmer)

    In July’s ballot, the ruling CPP won 68 seats in the 123-seat National Assembly, while the opposition nearly doubled its representation with 55 seats. The opposition, however, has refused to take up its seats because of the alleged electoral fraud. The ruling CPP insists it won the election fairly and has rejected calls for international involvement.

    The U.S. and other Western countries have called on all sides to engage in peaceful dialogue, but have not publicly taken sides in the election dispute.

    Protester Kim San, who is in her sixties, said her four children were unable to vote after their names were removed from the voters’ roll. That was a common complaint in this election.

    A man from Kampong Speu province in central Cambodia said he lost his land to a well-connected family, and the courts then failed him. He said the country needed leaders that people can trust.

    He said, “We are here because all of us want a leader who can help the people in Cambodia, an honest person who does not support the dishonest people.”

    Many at the rally said they have had enough of longtime Prime Minister Hun Sen’s rule. While that sentiment is expected at an opposition rally, expressing such thoughts publicly just five years ago would have been unthinkable. Now it is commonplace.

    An Choy, 58, travelled from Mondolkiri province in the northeast. Until recently, he said, his district had forests and natural resources such as gold. Not any longer.

    He said, “All the gold and the trees and the forests in my area are now gone - in Chong Plas commune and Khao Seima district. And in another area of Mondolkiri province they will be gone soon. And that’s all because of the government."

    People like An Choy, Ruon Sambath and Kim San - farmers in their 50s and 60s - have long been the bedrock of support for the ruling party. But after years in power, and mounting accusations of bad governance, there are growing signs that the CPP’s rural support base appears to be eroding.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: hoa minh truong from: western Autralia
    October 27, 2013 7:25 AM
    Vietnamese could be ashamed while seeing the Cambodian protest freely against government. In history, Vietnam communist state was as master of Cambodia since the Vietcong armed force threw out Khmer Rouge from Phnom Penh in 1979 then set up a pro-Vietnam government by a former Khmer Rouge high rank member, previously Mr. Hen Somrim and later on Mr. Hun Sen.
    The Cambodian show the independence, democracy, but Vietnamese haven't, almost people scare the communist party, even though Vietnam regime to be considered in among the most corrupted country in the world. Unfortunately, in Vietnam, sometimes there are some protest, mostly oppose against the China by the fishermen killed and China occupied the water, including the archipelagos as Faracel and Spratly. The most demonstrates congregated about couple hundred people, they were forced by Vietcong police to stay out the China Embassy at Hanoi..that means Vietnam communist is like the China's administrative staff. Moreover, the the most protests lead by the former Vietcong or retirees, so people fear to be trapped, because in record, Vietcong currently deployed the fake organizations, after 1975, ten thousand resistant members killed. Vietnamese have to learn from Cambodian, actually the Vietcong regime is the worst government. Where is the traditional spirit built up since 4 thousands fighting against the invasion and it foreign hand?
    Hoa Minh Truong.
    ( author of 3 books: the dark journey, good evening Vietnam & from laborer to author)

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.