News / Asia

Cambodian Opposition Leader Declares Political 'Stalemate'

VOA's Sarah Williams speaks with Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, Oct. 17, 2013
VOA's Sarah Williams speaks with Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, Oct. 17, 2013
VOA News
Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy said his country has reached a political "stalemate" and is calling for a halt in international aid to the Phnom Penh government.

Rainsy spoke to VOA during a visit to Washington, where he is trying to convince U.S. officials and others to put more pressure on Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow an independent probe into a contested July vote.

Although official results show Rainsy's Cambodia National Rescue Party made substantial gains in the election, opposition lawmakers have refused to take their seats and claimed the long-time ruling party committed voter fraud.

Following meetings with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, Rainsy told VOA many in Washington remain sympathetic to his position.

"Officials in the U.S. that I have met understand the situation in Cambodia very well. They understand the recent elections were problematic and that the results as proclaimed by the authorities are controversial," said Rainsy.

Rainsy also met with officials from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund but did not say whether he has had any success in convincing officials to change their behavior toward the Cambodian government, which is heavily dependent on foreign aid.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said this week that Rainsy's meetings with U.S. officials did "not signify an endorsement." She insisted the U.S. supports an "open and democratic process" in Cambodia rather than a single party.

However, Psaki also renewed the U.S. State Department's call for a "credible and transparent review" of the election.

"Independent observers have noted serious election irregularities. We do believe and continue to believe that a credible and transparent review of the election would help efforts moving forward," said Psaki.

Rainsy's party has already held a series of large protests and is threatening more demonstrations for next week. He is also considering a general strike to put more pressure on the government.

The 64-year-old, who was barred from running in the election, claims his party will not back down on its parliamentary boycott. He also said that several rounds of talks between himself and Prime Minister Hun Sen have gone nowhere.

"There is a stalemate. A real deadlock. Because we insist on a real investigation into election irregularities, whereas Prime Minister Hun Sen wants to move forward regardless of the truth regarding the result of the elections," declared Rainsy.

"The constitution states that Cambodia should follow a democratic system based on pluralism, but actually Cambodia has returned to a one-party system. So this is a clear violation of the constitution that makes the current Cambodia [government] illegal, or at least illegitimate," Rainsy continued.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled the country since 1985, has said the vote was fair and argues that the results were upheld by Cambodia's National Election Commission and Constitutional Court.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs