News / Asia

    Cambodia's Opposition Threatens Nationwide General Strike

    Sam Rainsy, president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), greets his supporters in Freedom Park, Sept. 17, 2013.Sam Rainsy, president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), greets his supporters in Freedom Park, Sept. 17, 2013.
    x
    Sam Rainsy, president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), greets his supporters in Freedom Park, Sept. 17, 2013.
    Sam Rainsy, president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), greets his supporters in Freedom Park, Sept. 17, 2013.
    VOA News
    Cambodia's opposition is threatening a general strike as it expands its protest of Prime Minister Hun Sen's disputed election victory.

    Cambodia National Rescue Party leader Sam Rainsy said on Wednesday that the one-day strike would be a response to what he called a "constitutional coup" by the government.

    "In the air there is an idea of a general strike. So, the whole country for one day, we will call for a strike. All factories, all civil servants, all shopkeepers will stop working that day," explained Rainsy.

    His comments came a day after Hun Sen was elected by parliament, which convened on Monday without the boycotting opposition MPs. The CNRP says opening parliament without the required number of opposition members is illegal.

    The opposition refuses to take its seats in parliament unless the government agrees to an independent probe of alleged fraud during the July election that returned the long-ruling Cambodian People's Party to power.

    Rainsy said the CNRP will not cooperate "in any manner" with the legislature or the government, arguing that its leverage is "strongest now outside the parliament." He said more protests were possible if the ruling party "continues to ignore the will of the Cambodian people."

    Carl Thayer, a Southeast Asia analyst with the University of New South Wales, recently returned from a series of lectures in Cambodia. He tells VOA that Rainsy's supporters have little appetite for compromise with the government.

    "They would be extremely disappointed, and they were very fearful when I was there, that he would cave in and show up in the opening of parliament, the National Assembly, and take seats there and even take positions in the government," said Thayer.

    Hun Sen and Sam Rainsy have held several rounds of unsuccessful talks aimed at breaking the political deadlock. The National Election Commission and the Constitutional Council have both ruled in the ruling party's favor.

    Thayer says it is unlikely that Hun Sen will agree to an independent fraud investigation.

    "For Hun Sen to agree to an outside body of that nature would be to say, 'Yes, the elections were manipulated with fraud, and the the CPP is responsible,'" said Thayer.

    Thayer suggests Hun Sen could instead agree to form a bipartisan parliamentary group to look into possible political reforms.

    Official results show that the opposition won 55 seats in the July 28 elections, compared to 68 seats for the ruling party. It was the CPP and Hun Sen's worst election performance in 15 years. Hun Sen has ruled the country since 1985.

    Despite its gains, the CNRP maintains it was denied a victory due to widespread vote rigging. The government denies that charge.

    Protests against the election results turned violent this month when a demonstrator was shot and killed during a clash with security forces.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora