News / Asia

Cambodia’s Hun Sen Re-Elected Despite Opposition Boycott

Prime Minister Hun Sen gestures as he arrives at the National Assembly for a meeting in central Phnom Penh, Sept. 24, 2013.
Prime Minister Hun Sen gestures as he arrives at the National Assembly for a meeting in central Phnom Penh, Sept. 24, 2013.
Irwin Loy
Lawmakers from Cambodia’s ruling party reappointed longstanding Prime Minister Hun Sen to another five-year term in office Tuesday, amid a continuing boycott from opposition parliamentarians. For now, the country’s National Assembly remains dominated by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party as opposition lawmakers refuse to take their seats in protest of the disputed July 28 elections.
 
Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said he was still open to negotiating with the absent opposition, but only if they agreed to end their political boycott, and join the ruling CPP lawmakers in the National Assembly.
 
"The door is not closed yet for negotiation with the opposition party but they must accept the election result and swear-in first before continuing any more talks with the ruling party," he said.
 
It remains unclear if the opposition is willing to join the national assembly on the prime minister's terms.
 
Son Chhay is a member of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, or CNRP, which this week held its own symbolic swearing-in ceremony for opposition lawmakers at the country’s cherished Angkor Wat temple.
 
Chhay said his party needs an indication from the prime minister that he is committed to meaningful reforms, but the prime minister's comments Tuesday suggest otherwise.
 
“Mr. Hun Sen himself must show his commitment to reform the country’s system. We cannot encourage or allow Mr. Hun Sen to continue to run the country in the old authoritarian style anymore," Chhay said.  "We cannot bow our heads to the man who steal our vote, only to agree for him to continue running the country the way it was, without a serious commitment for change.”
 
The prime minister insists that his party won the July 28 election, albeit with a greatly reduced majority, picking up 68 seats compared to the CNRP’s 55.
 
The opposition claims the election was tainted by widespread voter fraud. However, little has come of its demands for an impartial investigation into the results.
 
Last week, three days of mass demonstrations and two lengthy meetings with the CPP failed to produce a solution to the impasse.
 
Chhay said his party is holding out for meaningful reforms to a political system long dominated by Hun Sen and the ruling CPP.
 
“In that regard it has to be some compromise in terms of how we’re going to manage the different institutions in the way that one party, especially Mr. Hun Sen’s party, will not run the country in the way he pleases, the way he wants. He has to be accountable in what he’s doing,” Chhay said.
 
Both the CPP and the CNRP said they are open to further discussions. What’s not yet clear is which side will be willing to make the first move.

You May Like

FIFA Indictments Put Gold Cup Tournament Under Cloud

Experts say US indictments could lead to charges of other world soccer officials, and lead to major shakeup in sport's governance More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Igor from: Russia
September 24, 2013 10:33 PM
It is not a fight for the real democracy in Cambodia but in fact it is the fight for power between a longstanding government backed by China and the opposition backed by the West. Under the present government people will continue to suffer from widespread corruption but under the opposition rule Cambodia would be in a state of disorder and chaos or there might be a civil war or wars with its neibours.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
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.

VOA Blogs