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Analysts See Conundrum for Opposition in Political Dealing

Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni (C) greets government officials after returning from China at Phnom Penh International Airport, September 11, 2013.

Cambodian political analysts say the opposition is now facing a dilemma, as public pressure continues for a just solution for alleged election fraud.

That has limited the opposition’s ability to deal for a political solution, analysts said this week. However, with the return of King Norodom Sihamoni on Wednesday, the political tensions could be eased, they said.

King Sihamoni has invited Prime Minister Hun Sen and leaders of his ruling Cambodian People’s Party to join in talks with representatives of the Rescue Party. In a letter, the king invited vested parties to the Royal Palace on Saturday at 9 am.

Hun Sen, in reply, said he would join talks. However, members of the Rescue Party said late Thursday they had not yet decided.

“The decision will be made tomorrow by the permanent committee meeting,” Yim Sovann, an opposition spokesman, told VOA Khmer.

Analysts say the opposition must now decide between a political solution or public demands for justice over the election.

“I think the leaders of the [Rescue Party] are facing heaving difficulties in negotiating, because…the public movement seems to be for wanting justice from the election,” said Hang Puthea, head of the election-monitoring group Nicfec. “So in my understanding this is controversial.”

Chea Vannath, an independent political analyst, said the people should move toward a political solution between the two sides—both of whom claim to have one the election. “Justice can be done next,” she said. “We can’t find justice if there is no political solution.”

No one is likely to be satisfied 100 percent, she added.

Both analysts said it was regrettable that none of the top leaders spoke to each other or even shook hands at Phnom Penh International Airport on Wednesday, where the awaited the return of the king, who was in Beijing for a medical checkup.