Prime Minister Hun Sen has no plans to negotiate with his Cambodia National Rescue Party counterparts, a ruling party spokesman reiterated yesterday, following calls for intra-party talks last week by a senior US diplomat.
During his visit to the Kingdom last week, US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel expressed concern over the lack of dialogue between the two main parties and called for an environment where all politicians could compete freely.
His comments followed mounting criticism over what has been characterised as the use of the courts by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party to target political opponents.
However, CPP officials maintain the slew of cases against CNRP members and top leaders are merely criminal matters.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan yesterday repeated the party’s line that it could not interfere in the judiciary – something it’s been repeatedly accused of doing – and must wait until the court proceedings against opposition members end.
He also downplayed the appeal by Russel, saying his visit was not to pressure the party, but to strengthen the countries’ friendship. “[Russel] requested we [meet to negotiate], but we said that we have not yet been able to meet,” he said. “He did not try to force anything.”
CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann said the party had no leverage on the CPP to force talks, but added that he hoped the parties can reach a solution once the cases conclude.