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CNRP wants fair coverage

Deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha
Deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha talks to the media after arriving at Phnom Penh International Airport yesterday. Vireak Mai

CNRP wants fair coverage

The opposition party is standing strong on key demands it says stand between it and joining the National Assembly, Cambodia National Rescue Party deputy president Kem Sokha said yesterday.

Speaking to reporters after returning from a five-day trip to New Zealand, Sokha said that, in addition to election reform, the opposition also wanted to see more equitable coverage from state broadcaster TVK.

“We are not only asking for a [CNRP] TV licence, but for everyone to have widespread [coverage],” he said.

Last week, Prime Minister Hun Sen publicly agreed to grant a TV licence to an opposition-aligned operator.

The CNRP also revealed last week that it had made a deal with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party that would see it take a number of key parliamentary positions, including the deputy presidency, when it joins the assembly.

But Sokha yesterday stressed that changes to parliament’s internal rules that would see the opposition recognised as a shadow government were also a necessary concession.

Prum Sokha, head of the CPP’s working group for negotiations, said yesterday that state broadcasters did not serve any political party.

“When the election campaign comes around, [TVK] gives equitable airtime [to all parties]. During normal times, [we] use [TVK] to broadcast the government’s activities for all. It is not for any party.”

He added that there were already suitable checks and balances in parliament, and that the opposition’s new positions would only reinforce that.

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