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

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid