Cambodia opposition leader hopes to return to negotiations

Sam Rainsy, leader of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has expressed his hope to return to negotiations with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
At a press conference on December 28, Sam Rainsy said the talks, possibly from January 1-3, could be attended by representatives of civil society and trade unions organisations and political parties.

He said contents regarding the on-going strikes of workers are expected to be discussed during the talks.

In response to Sam Rainsy’s suggestions, Chiem Yeap, a senior official of the CPP, affirmed the party’s readiness to talk with the CNRP to address the disputes but those attending the negotiations must be discussed and agreed upon between the two parties on the basis of the law.

However, CNRP Vice President Kem Sokha said that despite a call for talks with the CPP, the party still continues its daily protests.

Since December 15, the CNRP has launched a new round of daily protests and led thousands of supporters through streets in capital Phnom Penh to demand a re-election.

PM Hun Sen rejected the opposition’s requirements and asked security forces to keep calm, avoid conflicts with protesters and patiently wait for the negotiation.

Earlier, Defence Minister Tea Banh called on striking garment workers and CNRP supporters to make sure they act within the boundaries of the law.

Speaking on December 27, the General said the demonstration is legal, but protesters should not block roads and he accused the oppositions of racism for its stance toward Vietnam.

The minister also accused the CNRP stance, especially toward Vietnam.

“The CNRP has incited Cambodian people to hate other races of people,” the Cambodia Daily quoted General Banh as saying.

“Vietnam is very important, and we should remain friendly together as we have been for a long time,” he noted.-VNA

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