Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP calls for ‘culture of dialogue’ to resume

CNRP calls for ‘culture of dialogue’ to resume

Kem Sokha and Hun Sen shake hands at the National Assembly in 2014 after reaching an agreement to cease hostilities.
Kem Sokha and Hun Sen shake hands at the National Assembly in 2014 after reaching an agreement to cease hostilities. Heng Chivoan

CNRP calls for ‘culture of dialogue’ to resume

Following an escalation in political tensions after the attempted arrest of the opposition’s acting president Kem Sokha, the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s Eng Chhay Eang yesterday verbally requested the National Assembly start negotiations with the ruling party.

Chhay Eang said negotiations could use working groups created by each party last year to restart the much-touted “culture of dialogue” process, which had ultimately broken down.

“We should let both groups meet and debate over the culture of dialogue, because currently the culture of dialogue is not working,” he said.

He added that no agenda or schedule had been set for the proposed meeting and that he was yet to send an official communication to the CPP, having only verbally requested it with National Assembly spokesman Leng Peng Long.

Peng Long yesterday confirmed the CNRP’s request, adding that the opposition had proposed a meeting without laying out any pre-conditions for talks.

“[The CNRP] working group led by Pol Ham proposed to negotiate with [the CPP] working group led by Prum Sokha to push forward the culture of dialogue,” Peng Long said

Following CNRP president Sam Rainsy’s self-imposed exile last November and Sokha’s removal as the parliament’s first vice president, Interior Minister Sar Kheng met with Sokha to set up working groups to restart inter-party talks, as well as look at other legislative issues on the table at the time.

The CPP selected Interior Ministry secretary of state Prum Sokha to lead its delegation at the time, and Pol Ham headed the CNRP’s group, supported by five other CNRP members.

Speaking to supporters outside the CNRP headquarters yesterday, Ham said the two groups needed to meet before the rising political tensions could be discussed by senior party leaders. “So far, we have tried to have a meeting,” Ham said.

“But the [CPP] first said it was busy, and then said the [CNRP] did not have a leader to conduct negotiations.”He said Sokha could negotiate with the CPP’s top brass in Rainsy’s absence.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the party was not sure if the same group would represent it, and insinuated that negotiations could not secure the release of jailed opposition members. “If this means the agenda will include abuse of the competence of the court, that is impossible.”

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • First commercial gold mine online

    Australian miner Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd on June 21 began the commercial operation of its $120 million Okvau Gold Project in the northeastern province of Mondulkiri, becoming the Kingdom’s first gold producer. Located in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima district, the