A trio of prominent political analysts have called on the King to serve as a referee for ending the post-election deadlock, saying they believe intervention from the palace is the only way to prevent more bloodshed.
In a joint letter sent to King Norodom Sihamoni on Monday, analysts Sok Touch, Lao Mong Hay and Kem Ley urged the King to invite both parties back to the negotiating table; they separately called on each party to reach out to the King.
“We made this letter when we saw the blood being shed by Cambodians,” said Touch. “When two persons want to both sleep in the middle, it is impossible unless we look for a third person to help compromise.
“We do not have any asset [to help], we only have our intelligence. If the politicians or King needs us, we would volunteer to join without condition at any time so that society can see the end of bloodshed between Khmer and Khmer.”
Amid the fallout of the July election, analysts repeatedly suggested the King could step forward as a neutral arbiter. But when the CNRP boycotted the National Assembly and the CPP pushed forward with opening a new government regardless, that possibility dimmed.
Son Soubert, an adviser to King Sihamoni, said he had not seen the letter but welcomed it.
According to Touch, a palace official told the group that the King had received their petition and encouraged them to write to the leaders of both parties and ask them to invite the King to serve as an arbitrator.
Cambodia National Rescue Party spokesman Yim Sovann said the party had received the letter and was prepared to join a negotiating table chaired by the King, but their demands remained unchanged.
“Re-election is the end of the problem,” he said. “It’s very simple, but the CPP does not keep the national interest in the forefront.”
Prum Sokha, CPP spokesman and secretary of state at the Interior Ministry, declined to address the letter, but said negotiation was impossible if the CNRP refused to back down from its call for new elections.