Sar Kheng Says CPP, CNRP to Meet Tuesday
By | November 2, 2013

CNRP President Sam Rainsy and CPP Interior Minister Sar Kheng spoke by telephone on Friday and have agreed to a meeting between the two parties on Tuesday, the minister said, a day after it appeared that lines of communication between the two sides had broken down.

Mr. Kheng said he spoke with Mr. Rainsy, who called him at about 11 a.m. to discuss the three points of reform the CNRP is proposing as a precondition to ending the current political stalemate: the adoption of U.N. election recommendations, the resignation of NEC officials and an impartial investigation into al­leged election irregularities during the July ballot.

“We agreed with each other, so we will meet on Tuesday next week at 9 a.m. at the National Assembly,” Mr. Kheng said.

“Sam Rainsy called me at 11 a.m., and about 15 minutes later, I called him back. This meeting will be about reforms of the national elections in accordance with a joint agreement by both parties announced on September 16,” when it was decided that the CPP and CNRP would keep negotiating.

Mr. Kheng said it is in the best interests of both parties to “reach a successful result” in the talks, but he said he is unsure how long Tuesday’s meeting would last.

“I think we will continue to meet until both parties have a good result,” he added.

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann said he would not comment on the con­tent of the upcoming discussions.

“The CNRP has appointed five officials [to attend the talks]; me, Son Chhay, Eng Chhay Eang, Yem Ponhearith and Kuy Bunroeun.

“The CNRP requested the CPP to have a public meeting, but the CPP did not agree because they said it is a technical meeting,” Mr. Sovann said.

The CPP delegation heading to the talks will include Interior Ministry secretaries of state Prum Sokha and Sak Sitha, Justice Ministry Secretary of State Keut Rith, CPP Cabinet Chief Som Soeun and undersecretary of state Leng Vy.

“After this meeting, the top leaders from both parties” will attend a separate meeting, Mr. Kheng said.

On Thursday, some wondered if communication between the party leaders had broken off when Mr. Rainsy tried to call the interior minister during a press conference, only to be unable to reach him. Further calls made by Mr. Rainsy throughout the day were also unsuccessful.

Kem Ley, an independent social analyst and researcher with the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, said that while he is hopeful that the two parties will be able to map out a path toward electoral reform, it would not change how the country is run between now and the next national election.

“I hope the two parties will come to an agreement and the CNRP will join the National Assembly.

“But even if the CNRP agrees and the CPP agrees to investigate irregularities and study the system of the election…everything still stays the same,” he said.

“Realistically, the injustices and human rights violations will happen again and again.”

(Additional reporting by Lauren Crothers)

© 2013, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.

LATEST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday began a three-day hearing to re-examine a trio of cases involving disgraced former Phnom Penh police chief Heng Pov, who was convicted of a slew of crimes by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court and is currently serving a 98-year prison sentence.

Two Cambodian hackers who once sought to topple the government by infiltrating its websites to reveal sensitive information were on Tuesday handed a suspended sentence, released from prison and ordered to work for the Interior Ministry, according to their attorney and a ministry official.

The Ministry of Culture on Tuesday introduced the country’s first strategic cultural policy, an ambitious plan that includes setting up provincial cultural centers, launching arts education in schools, holding annual cultural events and promoting individual artists.

A Royal Cambodian Armed Forces soldier and a Thai counterpart were injured Monday in a shoot-out near the Ang Sas border checkpoint in Preah Vihear province, according to military officials, marking the first exchange of fire between the two countries since the Thai military ousted the elected government in May.

Three activist monks are to be expelled from Wat Changkran Taprohm in Phnom Penh after invoking the ire of senior monks with their anti-government activities and courting of the press.

Sign up for our free, daily morning report. Click here.
The Cambodia Daily | All the News Without Fear or Favor | The Daily Newspaper of Record Since 1993