Cambodia

Without Opposition Leader, 2013 Elections Likely Not Fair, Rights Advocate Says

Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, left, who is currently living in exile in France, talks about the opposition's plans for next year's elections in Cambodia during the launching of the International Parliamentary Committee for Democratic Elections in Cambodia with Philippine Sen. Franklin Drilon, file photo. Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, left, who is currently living in exile in France, talks about the opposition's plans for next year's elections in Cambodia during the launching of the International Parliamentary Committee for Democratic Elections in Cambodia with Philippine Sen. Franklin Drilon, file photo.
x
Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, left, who is currently living in exile in France, talks about the opposition's plans for next year's elections in Cambodia during the launching of the International Parliamentary Committee for Democratic Elections in Cambodia with Philippine Sen. Franklin Drilon, file photo.
Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, left, who is currently living in exile in France, talks about the opposition's plans for next year's elections in Cambodia during the launching of the International Parliamentary Committee for Democratic Elections in Cambodia with Philippine Sen. Franklin Drilon, file photo.
VOA Khmer
WASHINGTON DC - The general elections in July next year will prove a rugged playing field for the opposition, whose leader remains in exile and whose name was struck from voter lists earlier this year, a leading rights advocate says.

Ou Virak, head of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, told “Hello VOA” Monday that despite calls from the US and others that Cambodia improve its election system, the 2013 polls will likely not be seen as free and fair.

Sam Rainsy’s removal from the voter list was “unfortunate,” he said. “We see that as an attempt to close political negotiations.”

Sam Rainsy had hoped to return to Cambodia at the head of a new opposition coalition, the Cambodia National Rescue Party. But he is facing 12 years in prison if he returns to Cambodia. He has said the charges, stemming from his destruction of borders markers near Vietnam in Svay Rieng province in 2009, are politically motivated.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, for his part, has said no political settlement is possible, and he has kept Sam Rainsy’s case in the notoriously biased court system.

Many in the international community, including US President Barack Obama and the UN rights envoy Surya Subedi, have urged the return of Sam Rainsy for the election. That avenue seems increasingly unlikely, Ou Virak said.

Meanwhile, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party continues to dominate the mediascape and has an ample budget for political campaigns, lowering the odds for the opposition further, Ou Virak said. Additionally, the National Election Committee is stacked with ruling party members or supporters.

Without Opposition Leader, 2013 Elections Likely Not Fair, Rights Advocate Says
Without Opposition Leader, 2013 Elections Likely Not Fair, Rights Advocate Says i
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

“In Cambodia we have a big and well-built guy boxing with a small child,” he said. “And worse than that, we have a referee who supports the big guy.”

That has put Cambodia on a path toward unilateral, single party rule, he said. “If the opposition does not compete, then Cambodia would go the way of Burma in the past.”

Government spokesman Phay Siphan dismissed such concerns. “The opposition should transform itself from being the rebellion party to being the opposition type as in democratic rules,” he said. “During their propaganda in the field, they have nothing to say, apart from talking about corruption and attack the prime minister.”
Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Yearlong Political Deadlock Endsi
X
22 July 2014
Cambodia’s political deadlock has ended. For nearly a year, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has refused to join the government, calling for electoral reforms in a system it says was deeply flawed. Following nearly five hours of meetings between top opposition officials and Prime Minister Hun Sen, that deadlock has ended. The two sides finally reached agreement on a formula for selecting the National Election Committee, which the Rescue Party has said was biased toward the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. Hun Sen and Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy emerged from talks Tuesday smiling and shaking hands. “Victory,” Hun Sen told reporters after the meeting. “You can all applaud.” (Heng Reaksmey, Phnom Penh)

English with Mani & Mori

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Labor of Love (Movie: That's What I Am)i
X
21 July 2014
You can say, "Every weekend he volunteers at the hospital working with the sick and the dying. It brings him great joy to care for others. It's his 'labor of love' to humanity." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to www.khmer.voanews.com/maniandmori or www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
Video

Video Labor of Love (Movie: That's What I Am)

You can say, "Every weekend he volunteers at the hospital working with the sick and the dying. It brings him great joy to care for others. It's his 'labor of love' to humanity." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
Video

Video Put Stock In (Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2)

AT THE MOVIES WITH MANI & MORI - English Learning / American Idioms You can say, "Her history and her patterns have shown that she is not very responsible with money, so I am not going to 'put too much stock in' believing she has changed." What does it mean? Watch here.
Video

Video Thick Skinned [Movie: The Lion King]

You can say, "I find that it's necessary sometimes to be 'thick skinned' to public opinions, some people will like you and some will not … it's just how it is." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
Video

Video Knock Your Socks Off [Movie: Meet The Robinsons]

You can say, "You have to try this new Cambodian restaurant in DC, it's super delicious, it's amazing - one bite of it and it will 'knock your socks off'." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
See more >>>