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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More