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Parties Must Work Together To Ensure Legacy, Expert Says


Cambodian political officials should begin thinking about the legacy they are leaving future generations, with a new political environment following gains by the opposition in 2013, an analyst says.

The ruling Cambodian People’s Party and the Cambodia National Rescue Party need to now work together, to move the country forward, after decades of political conflict, Chheang Vannarith, a lecturer at the University of Leeds, told VOA Khmer in a TV studio interview this week.

“If both parties can’t work together, the losers are the entire Cambodian people,” he said.

If they do work together, they will leave a legacy for generations to come, he added. That will mean building institutions and systems that benefit people, while reducing mistrust between the two sides. They must also find common ground in foreign policy, he said.

“In order to have an effective foreign policy, we have to have the national unity,” he said. “And national unity, in the Cambodian context, means the two main parties should have common policies and stances regarding international affairs. Secondly, our people have to know about Cambodia’s foreign policy, to allow them to participate in some way.”

Election reforms are a good start, he said, but the parties must now learn to work together. “This is the next chapter.”

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