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Rights Envoy Encourages Continued Political Dialogue

U.N. special rapporteur Surya Subedi walks through a Cambodian national flag upon his arrival in a conference room at the U.N. headquarter in Phnom Penh, file photo.

The UN’s special envoy for human rights on Tuesday called for the ruling party and the opposition to continue talks over democratic reforms.

Dialogue is needed to continue reforms and improve the rule of law, the envoy, Surya Subedi, told reporters following a meeting with opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha.

The ruling Cambodian People’s Party and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party have been in talks since July, when they ended a yearlong political deadlock, in a effort to reform the electoral process and the legislature.

The environment between the two parties has been strained recently, however, with much public criticism from Prime Minister Hun Sen over opposition lawmakers being critical of the government.

Still, Subedi said more talks must take place for the country to develop.

“What we need in this country is a dialogue with all its stakeholders, and mainly between ruling party and the opposition party,” he said. “Now that the dialogue is continuing, the country is moving forward, this country has a good future, and I have been privilege to make a small contribution to the process of democracy in this country.”