News / Asia

Cambodian Opposition Begins Three-Day Protest

Supporters of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) with the national flags gather during a protest at the Freedom Park in central Phnom Penh, Oct. 23, 2013.
Supporters of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) with the national flags gather during a protest at the Freedom Park in central Phnom Penh, Oct. 23, 2013.
VOA News
Cambodia's opposition has begun three days of mass demonstrations in the capital to call for the government to allow an independent probe into alleged election fraud.

Thousands gathered early Wednesday in Phnom Penh's Freedom Park, where they were met by thousands of riot police.  Many Cambodians feared a repeat of last month's opposition protests during which one protester was killed and several wounded following clashes with police.

The Cambodian National Rescue Party, which organized the protests, marched Wednesday to a United Nations office in the capital to deliver a petition calling for international intervention to end the standoff over the July vote.  They will also march to several foreign embassies.

Cambodian authorities granted last-minute approval for the CNRP to deliver the petition, but stipulated that only 1,000 people be allowed to join the march.  Some opposition officials have told local media the march will exceed that figure.

The party expected as many as 50,000 people to attend the three-day protest, which coincides with the anniversary of the 1991 signing of the Paris Peace Agreements that ended decades of conflict in the Southeast Asian country.

  • 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)

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy has also threatened to hold a general strike if the government does not give in to his demands for an independent investigation.

Although official results showed the CNRP made substantial gains in the election, opposition lawmakers have refused to take their seats in parliament, claiming the ruling Cambodian People's Party committed voter fraud.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said the vote was free and fair, arguing the results were upheld by Cambodia's National Election Commission and Constitutional Court.

Human Rights Watch on Wednesday urged foreign governments, which help fund Cambodia's aid-reliant government, to put more pressure on Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow for an election probe.

The New York-based group said many international observers have concluded the election process was "severely marred by significant structural flaws and irregularities," including voter fraud, media bias, and partisanship by state security forces.

The statement also slammed the prime ministers of France, Australia and Japan for sending congratulatory letters following the election to Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled the country since 1985.

Human Rights Watch's Asia director, Brad Adams, said "premature congratulations from elected leaders undermine the hopes of millions of Cambodians who rely on the international community to back their demands for free and fair elections."

(This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Khmer service.)

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs