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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Role in Fighting IS Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Enter Public Office in Record Numbers

A steady deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid