Cambodian oppn seeking compromise with PM

January 16, 2014 - 12:43:44 pm
PHNOM PENH:  Cambodia’s opposition has been in talks with Prime Minister Hun Sen to find a deal to end the political crisis caused by last year’s disputed general election and a compromise may be near, two analysts briefed on the matter said.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy and his deputy, Kem Sokha, had written to Hun Sen via a mediator seeking a “compromise for national reconciliation,” independent analysts Kem Ley and Heang Rithy said yesterday.

“I have seen a letter that Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had written to Prime Minister Hun Sen, outlining four points,” said Heang Rithy, president of the Cambodian National Research Organization.

Hun Sen, who has been in power for 28 years, was returned to power in an election last July that the opposition called fraudulent.

Heang Rithy and Kem Ley said Sam Rainsy’s Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) wanted the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) to agree to a fresh election in 2015 or 2016, give it the chairmanship of some parliamentary commissions, allow it to run a television station and agree to look at electoral reforms.

The CNRP had also asked to have the deputy presidency of the National Assembly, dropping its demand for the presidency, Kem Ley said, adding that in return the opposition party would end its boycott of parliament. 

“There have been secret talks through a third party and the third party has informed us that much has been agreed on, about 80 percent,” said social analyst Kem Ley.

Sam Rainsy led tens of thousands of CNRP supporters and allied striking garment workers on rallies and marches against Hun Sen until a crackdown by security forces in early January, when five strikers were shot dead and the protests were halted.

He denied secret talks had taken place and said his party had not discussed any power-sharing in parliament.           Reuters