PHNOM PENH —
Prime Minister Hun Sen says he will allow the opposition to have a TV channel, but he must get a request from a private company first.
The announcement was part of ongoing negotiations between Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party and the Cambodia National Rescue Party.
The opposition has long complained that broadcast media in Cambodia is controlled by the ruling party and its supporters, giving them an unfair advantage each election cycle.
It has also boycotted the government following July 2013 elections it says were marred by fraud.
Hun Sen said he has notified the Ministry of Information to find space for an opposition channel. But he said it cannot be established directly under the opposition party, but must be done through a private firm.
“The party cannot establish [the channel], because Cambodia has 50 or 60 political parties,” he said.
Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy said the agreement showed progress in talks between the two sides, who have been at political odds since the 2013 elections.
“Our demand for television was because we want all people to have freedom of TV channels, to know the true information,” he said.
Jeff Daigle, deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy, told reporters in Kampong Thom province on Tuesday that the US wants to see meaningful dialogue between the two sides and a focus on democratic reforms.