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City Stalling on Forum Request, Party Claims

Phnom Penh authorities have been indecisive on a request by the Human Rights Party to hold a large public gathering next month over the rising cost of fuel, party officials said.

City officials said the request for a forum of 5,000 people was not detailed enough.

“We just want to help the government with some recommendations on how to stop the gas price from rising,” said Chan Ven, deputy secretary-general of the Human Rights Party. “So it is a sensitive point for the government. Then it’s a bit difficult to allow.”

Party officials said city government, which is largely dominated by the Cambodian People’s Party, is stalling, as the rising cost of fuel and goods have begun to stir discontent in the capital and countryside.

“I requested the party to prepare a clear list of the participants to submit to City Hall, so that we can check whether the [forum] will be dealt with by the city or the Ministry of Interior,” said Om Sam El, director of Phnom Penh’s office for decision-making.