Retired statesmen Nan Sy said he still holds some optimism that Cambodia will break through its political deadlock—despite a major gap between the two sides.
Nan Sy, a former ambassador and former parliamentarian, told “Hello VOA” on Thursday that Cambodia’s politicians must now “leave behind their personal interests and maintain peace and the common national interest.”
A return to negotiations will be the key, he said.
The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party is sticking to its demands for a recall vote and has refused to return to the negotiating table with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.
Nan Sy said that in the past, CPP and Funcinpec, then political rivals, where in a similar deadlock—except that it was more serious, because each side had armed supporters. They were able to come to an accord, and so should the current ruling party and the opposition, he said.
“I think that the direction and the desire of both party leaders is to find a solution, and peace in society,” Nan Sy said. “So we still have optimism.”
The CPP could find some solutions in the demands of the opposition party, whose demands are for checks and balances and are therefore reasonable, Nan Sy said.
Nan Sy, a former Funcinpec official, said the royalists compromised with the CPP on two different occasions, in 1993 and 1998, for peace and reconciliation.
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy told VOA Khmer recently that the Rescue Party will not give up on its demands for a recall election, because July’s polls, marred by fraud, have created a crisis in Cambodia that needs to be redressed.
“That’s why there needs to be a recall election, to know the real will of the people and respect the will of the people,” he said. “Otherwise we cannot play ball with an illegitimate parliament, a one-party parliament, and a communist parliament, like the one today. Not at all.”
CPP officials remain adamant that the opposition return to negotiations.
Chheang Von, chairman of the National Assembly’s foreign affairs committee, said Sam Rainsy should return to talks and cease his search for outside support to put pressure on the ruling party.
“Nobody feels any kind of headache, because we have applied democracy, pluralism and the people’s will at the ballot box, which must be applied through the constitution and other laws in Cambodia,” he said. “He can come to the meeting of parliament and talk about anything, including the balance of power.”