Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Party meet yields little progress

Party meet yields little progress

Party meet yields little progress

Fifty days after the ruling party and opposition last met to negotiate a solution to the ongoing political deadlock, officials from both major parties met yesterday morning at the National Assembly.

But those who were hoping for any kind of expedient resolution or at least a template for specific reforms will be sorely disappointed.

It appears a three-hour discussion was not enough, with the parties’ working groups – consisting of five officials from each party – not reporting any major breakthroughs and instead pledging to report back to their party leaders before further negotiations take place.

Speaking after the meeting, Cambodia National Rescue Party spokesman Yim Sovann and Cambodian People’s Party lead representative Prum Sokha said they had agreed to further debate on election reform.
Such a commitment is not new.

Following a meeting between top leaders on September 16, a joint statement was released pledging bipartisan commitment to unspecified election reform and further negotiation.

Both parties yesterday still appeared reluctant to discuss specific details of any reforms.

“We have exchanged our views with each other and we have promised that we must continue to meet again to resolve problems, which we have not completely agreed on before the end of this week,” Sokha said.

Although parties raised their individual agendas in the meeting, he added, the working groups have no power to make any decisions.

The CNRP’s requests, as outlined by the party last week, ask for an investigation into election irregularities, electoral reforms based on UN and NGO recommendations and the symbolic dismissal of the National Election Committee leadership.

The CPP’s Sokha yesterday emphasised that the opposition’s demand for an investigation, although presented, was not discussed.

He said that only electoral reform was discussed, based on the September 16 agreement.

The CNRP’s Sovann said the working groups would continue to debate technical aspects of reform, while a future meeting between the leaders – as yet unscheduled – would deal with outstanding, and more sensitive, political issues.

He also reassured supporters his party was not planning to end its boycott of the assembly.

“As long as there is no real resolution, the [CNRP] would like to declare to the public that [it] will not join the parliament.”


  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the

  • Royal Group's Koh Rong luxury hotel officially opens

    The Royal Sands Koh Rong hotel on Monday marked its official launch as the first luxury resort on Cambodia’s most visited island. Prime Minister Hun Sen presided over the inauguration of the hotel, which has been open since December, and features rooms priced at