News / Asia

Sam Rainsy: Cambodia Political Discussions at a 'Stalemate'

VOA's Sarah Williams speaks with Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, Washington, October 17, 2013
VOA's Sarah Williams speaks with Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, Washington, October 17, 2013
Sarah Williams
Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy says U.S. officials are sympathetic to his party’s call for an independent investigation into alleged voting irregularities in the country’s July election.

Rainsy met in Washington with Deputy U.S. Secretary of State William Burns and members of the U.S. Congress, as well as with representatives of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.  “Officials in the U.S. that I have met understand the situation in Cambodia very well,” he said during a visit to VOA Thursday. “They understand that the recent elections were problematic and that the results as proclaimed by the authorities are controversial.”

The July election saw the Cambodian People’s Party, the ruling party of Prime Minister Hun Sen, reduce its majority in the National Assembly, keeping 68 seats.  Rainsy’s opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party won 55 seats, an increase of 26.

The ruling party denies any irregularities, and the result was upheld by the National Election Commission and the Constitutional Court.  Hun Sen has been in power for 28 years.

However, Rainsy says European officials want further information before backing an investigation. “The most blatant violations concern the non-respect of the principal of pluralism,” he said.  “The constitution states that Cambodia should follow a democratic system based on pluralism, but actually Cambodia has returned to a one-party system.”

Talks at a 'stalemate'

Following the election, Hun Sen and Rainsy tried to negotiate a resolution to the political dispute, but the talks failed. Rainsy characterizes the discussions as “a stalemate” and a “real deadlock,” because the government denies any wrongdoing, and wants to proceed despite the controversy.  But opposition members have refused to take their seats in the National Assembly and have launched demonstrations to protest the election results.

Rainsy believes Cambodia has witnessed dramatic political change in recent years. “The balance of power has changed dramatically in the sense that for the first time there is a united democratic opposition which represents more than half of the country,” he said.  Rainsy said the ruling party’s declining results in the recent election were “unprecedented.”

Cambodia, like many countries, is also seeing political change because of social media, according to Rainsy. “Without social media, especially Facebook, we would not have experienced such developments in Cambodia and this is related to the emergence of the youth, the demographics play in favor of democracy, because the youth are the spearhead of democratic change in Cambodia,” he said.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Igor from: Russia
October 17, 2013 10:35 PM
Sam Rainsy is being supported by some Western countries and thinks he can become the prime minister one day but he must keep in mind that China will never let him be so because China considers Cambodia as one of its allies in ASEAN who is ready to obey Beijing orders. So Sam Rainsy should give up his dream of power.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs