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

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

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.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid