Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mu Sochua calls for ‘reconciliation’ to solve ‘crisis’

Mu Sochua calls for ‘reconciliation’ to solve ‘crisis’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Mu Sochua speaks to the press last year outside the headquarters of the former CNRP. Heng Chivoan

Mu Sochua calls for ‘reconciliation’ to solve ‘crisis’

Former deputy leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Mu Sochua on Monday called for “reconciliation” between Cambodian politicians to solve what she claimed is the current political “crisis”. She also called for the “strengthening of the rule of law” in the Kingdom.

In response, while Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan welcomed her call to strengthen the rule of law, he mocked her demands for reconciliation as “old-fashioned” and urged the opposition to respect the decisions of the courts.

Speaking via Facebook live from the Thai capital, Bangkok, where she attended a meeting of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats, Sochua said reconciliation between Cambodian politicians was an important step in solving the political crisis.

She said the decision of the Supreme Court in November last year to dissolve the CNRP was “very unjust”.

“The dissolution of the CNRP was made by the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court decision was very unjust because the judges were [biased]. They are afraid of political power. [The judiciary] is not an independent institution,” Sochua claimed.

She called for the strengthening of the rule of law in the Kingdom, a neutral and independent judicial system and the separation of the powers of the three branches of government – the legislative, executive and judiciary.

“[We] need to strengthen state institutions to provide justice for the people,” she said.

The beginning of a dialogue for reconciliation, she said, would be one way to help end the political crisis.

“We cannot have national reconciliation unless we have a dialogue to solve our national problems together, as a family. Like when we have a crisis in the family, we should sit down and solve our national issue ourselves,” she said.

However, Sochua said the first step to ending the political crisis was to “release” former CNRP leader Kem Sokha from “house arrest”.

“I still believe we can reconcile our nation – release Kem Sokha and then open a dialogue for the benefit of all,” she said.

Siphan said on Monday that strengthening the rule of law is something the government was already doing.

“I want to tell [Sochua] that we are strengthening the judicial process for the people via judicial reform, but you [must be] the first to strengthen the rule of law. You must respect the decision of the courts [regarding Sokha and the CNRP].

“[To me] the words ‘reconciliation’ and ‘national unity’ are old- fashioned because, in this modern era, we created a ‘culture of dialogue’, but Mu Sochua and Sam Rainsy are using the culture of impunity instead,” he said.

The culture of dialogue between the former opposition and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) began in 2014 when Hun Sen and former CNRP leader Sam Rainsy reached an agreement to end the opposition’s nearly year-long boycott of parliament following disputed 2013 national elections.

“When we talk about the rule of law, there is no one above the law. The one who violates the law must be [punished],” he said.

“We can’t accept reconciliation to violate the law. With the court’s punishment, please wait for five years [before returning to politics]. The punishment was not meted out by the government but by the courts.”

Analyst Meas Nee said he welcomed future reconciliation between both sides – the ruling CPP and former opposition CNRP. “Any process that leads to reconciliation is important for our society. Since the beginning, I have supported this idea,” Nee said.

“Currently, even though the government says Cambodia has no political crisis, we still see a split between the Kingdom’s politicians, with some accused of treason and others not allowed to be involved in politics.”

Nee said a consequence of this “split” between politicians would be damage to their reputations if they continued to be divisive.

“If our politicians continue to split, our nation will not develop well, [and then] leaders of both the CPP and CNRP will have their reputations [harmed],” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • Nestle’s debut may spur dairy market

    Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom. During a visit by a delegation led

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement