News / Asia

    Cambodia's Hun Sen, Opposition Leader Announce Deal Ending Deadlock

    Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, right, talks with the main Opposition Party leader Sam Rainsy, left, of Cambodia National Rescue Party, after their meeting in Senate headquarters in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 22, 2012.
    Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, right, talks with the main Opposition Party leader Sam Rainsy, left, of Cambodia National Rescue Party, after their meeting in Senate headquarters in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 22, 2012.
    Ron Corben

    Cambodia's Prime Minister and opposition parties have announced an agreement ending nearly a year of political deadlock that is expected to enable the National Assembly to fully reopen.
     
    The agreement between Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and opposition leader Sam Rainsy followed five hours of closed-door talks Tuesday - the third round of discussions since the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party boycotted parliament after the July 2013 elections.
     
    The opposition had refused to take up their 55 seats in parliament, alleging the polls were rigged. They had called for reforms before fresh elections.
        
    In the settlement, both sides agreed to work together at the National Assembly to solve major issues and reform independent institutions to "benefit the nation, the people" and democratic pluralism.
     
    Sim Sooya, director of the Khmer Institute for Democracy, said the agreement marked a major step forward after the year of political conflict.

    "I really congratulate both parties for political maturity as of today and I'd like if both parties work together Cambodia will develop faster and as a more egalitarian society. This is a very positive step, and this is very promising for the future of Cambodia. I think this is the beginning of everything good," said Sim Sooya.
     
    The agreement was also marked by steps to release seven opposition lawmakers and a party activist detained last Tuesday after violence erupted near Freedom Park in Phnom Penh, in clashes with security guards when the opposition attempted to stage a rally.
     
    The lawmakers were facing charges ranging from insurrection to inciting violence that carry possible lengthy jail terms if found guilty.
     
    Hun Sen has been in power for almost three decades and is known for his autocratic style of government, but was all smiles at the end of the talks, calling them a "success."
     
    Sam Rainsy, who had spent several years in exile before returning to Cambodia just prior to last year's elections, flew to Phnom Penh Saturday, saying that talks were the only solution to the political deadlock.
     
    Political scientist Carl Thayer of the Australian-based University of New South Wales, said that although the agreement draws Sam Rainsy back into the political process, the political outlook remains uncertain.
     
    "The way Hun Sen plays the game in the past is that any time an arrangement like this can be completely overturned if the opposition takes a stance or does things that he disagrees with. I'm not going to be overwhelmingly optimistic nor I'm not going to be completely convinced that they've turned the corner until we've seen the passage of time," Thayer stated.
     
    The talks also settled on pressing on with new elections but no final date has been set. Under the existing election timetable, Cambodia had been due for new national polls in July 2018.
     
     

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Poor Khmer
    July 23, 2014 11:24 AM
    I am amazed how Samrainsy and Kem Sokha continue to play this type of game with the devil Hun Sen who has never respected any agreement in the past. He always overturned it whenever he wanted and needed to.

    by: John
    July 23, 2014 10:55 AM
    So Rainsy is making a deal to free the hostages. Since he's acting from a position of total weakness, no doubt this is the best he can do. The fact is that Hun Sen is a Vietnamese client, and, since the guerrilla war was shut down, no one cares to oppose him. The only reason there is even a fig leaf of opposition is to bilk money from the Western taxpayer. I might as well add that I agreed with shutting down the war. The average Cambodian thereby obtained at least a little peace and stability. The results of the Libyan intervention and the Iraq war show this is not to be despised.

    by: Sony from: Stockton California
    July 22, 2014 12:23 PM
    Sam Raunsy & Kem Sokha, you two need to stand with your supporters around the globe , don't agree to what just for yourself"

    by: Apsaravideo from: Long Beach, CA
    July 22, 2014 10:14 AM
    After 30 years ruling Cambodia, Hun Sen must step down to save little of what's left of his dignity.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora