Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP softens talk conditions

CNRP softens talk conditions

CNRP president Sam Rainsy (right) and deputy president Kem Sokha
CNRP president Sam Rainsy (right) and deputy president Kem Sokha requested third-party mediation for bilateral negotiations with the CPP during a press conference in Phnom Penh. VIREAK MAI

CNRP softens talk conditions

The opposition has said it has not set any preconditions on the content of cross-party talks expected to be held next week with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party in an agenda submitted yesterday.

But opening the talks to the media and international arbitration was important to build trust between the two parties and the public, Cambodia National Rescue Party leaders stressed.

CNRP president Sam Rainsy said yesterday that while international arbitrators should be present at the meet, what had earlier been cast as firm preconditions for dialogue could now be part of the debate.

“We don’t have any preconditions, just proposals, then we will see how [the CPP] reacts,” Rainsy said.

The CNRP had previously said a commitment to an independent investigation of the July 28 election, the resignation of the nine National Election Committee leaders and election reform in line with the recommendations of the United Nations and other international groups, were preconditions for holding dialogue.

Rainsy said he was due to call Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday to plan the talks, but the call was postponed until today due to the minister’s schedule.

Kheng denied receiving the CNRP agenda yesterday afternoon, which CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann said had been submitted yesterday morning.

When asked if the new stance suggested the opposition is prepared to offer some concessions to the ruling party, Rainsy said “the most important thing now is to be able to hold free-flowing discussions and engage”.

Ou Virak, head of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, said the opposition had already shown it was willing to compromise by cooling its rhetoric ahead of the talks.

“They have already compromised on the preconditions … so I think that is a positive sign that the next round [of talks] might take place soon. I expect it will take place early next week,” he said.

“They will need some significant reform to show constituents, probably the resignation of NEC [officials] can easily translate to a victory for the CNRP,” he added. “If they can agree to something like that then any significant agreement would be much more likely, setting the stage for more concessions.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Touch: Rainsy will never return

    Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has claimed it has achieved 70 per cent of its struggle to find a solution to the current political situation in the Kingdom. Just before boarding a plane at Charles de Gaulle

  • Sokha continues call for dropping of charge after bail conditions reduced

    Not satisfied with having his bail conditions reduced, allowing him to travel freely in Cambodia, Kem Sokha says he wants his charge totally dropped. “As an innocent man who has been in detention for two years even without being found guilty, I continue to demand

  • Sar Kheng: Rainsy return not blocked

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng clarified that Cambodia had never blocked Sam Rainsy from returning to the Kingdom. However, he said Cambodia reserved the right to take legal action as allowed by law against activities aimed at destroying the Kingdom. “No one blocked the return

  • Reports: Rainsy barred from Jakarta flight

    Sam Rainsy was on Wednesday refused entry to a flight from Malaysia to Indonesia, media reported late on Wednesday. The “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party’s announced return to the Kingdom on Independence Day on Saturday failed to occur. Rainsy

  • King Sihamoni presides over opening of Water Festival

    King Norodom Sihamoni presided over the lighting of the lantern barges, representing the many ministries, in front of the Royal Palace on Sunday as the first day of the annual Water Festival celebrations went smoothly. Bun Veasna, an official at the National Committee for Organising

  • Government studying EU’s preliminary report on EBA

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Wednesday said the government was studying the EU Commission’s preliminary report on the human rights situation in the Kingdom that could lead to a suspension of access to its “Everything But Arms” (EBA) agreement. The