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Opposition Lawmakers Join First Assembly Session

Cambodia National Rescue Party's Vice President Kem Sokha, left, registers before a meeting at at National Assembly, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. Lawmakers from opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party on Friday appeared for the first time at the meeting of National Assembly, ending their ten months of boycott of parliament over claims that the results of the July 2013 general election were rigged. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Fifty-five opposition lawmakers joined their first meeting at the National Assembly on Friday, in a session presided over by Prime Minister Hun Sen and opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha.

Following the session, leaders vowed to work together, following a political deal that ended a 10-month opposition boycott of the government.

Hun Sen said he wanted to work to end a political culture in which “when the water is up, the fish eats ants, and when the water is down, the ants eat the fish.”

No matter the political waters at the moment, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party still have issues to resolve, particularly over electoral reforms.

Sam Rainsy said after Friday’s session that both sides were working “to show our good will to each other.” Cambodians had ended armed conflict, and so both sides are confident they can move the country’s development forward, he said.

Kem Ley, a political analyst, said that both sides should work to solve their problems without outside interference. He also said he thought Hun Sen may be changing his tough political character in reaction to a younger generation’s demands.