Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP calls for ‘culture of dialogue’ to resume

CNRP calls for ‘culture of dialogue’ to resume

Kem Sokha and Hun Sen shake hands at the National Assembly in 2014 after reaching an agreement to cease hostilities.
Kem Sokha and Hun Sen shake hands at the National Assembly in 2014 after reaching an agreement to cease hostilities. Heng Chivoan

CNRP calls for ‘culture of dialogue’ to resume

Following an escalation in political tensions after the attempted arrest of the opposition’s acting president Kem Sokha, the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s Eng Chhay Eang yesterday verbally requested the National Assembly start negotiations with the ruling party.

Chhay Eang said negotiations could use working groups created by each party last year to restart the much-touted “culture of dialogue” process, which had ultimately broken down.

“We should let both groups meet and debate over the culture of dialogue, because currently the culture of dialogue is not working,” he said.

He added that no agenda or schedule had been set for the proposed meeting and that he was yet to send an official communication to the CPP, having only verbally requested it with National Assembly spokesman Leng Peng Long.

Peng Long yesterday confirmed the CNRP’s request, adding that the opposition had proposed a meeting without laying out any pre-conditions for talks.

“[The CNRP] working group led by Pol Ham proposed to negotiate with [the CPP] working group led by Prum Sokha to push forward the culture of dialogue,” Peng Long said

Following CNRP president Sam Rainsy’s self-imposed exile last November and Sokha’s removal as the parliament’s first vice president, Interior Minister Sar Kheng met with Sokha to set up working groups to restart inter-party talks, as well as look at other legislative issues on the table at the time.

The CPP selected Interior Ministry secretary of state Prum Sokha to lead its delegation at the time, and Pol Ham headed the CNRP’s group, supported by five other CNRP members.

Speaking to supporters outside the CNRP headquarters yesterday, Ham said the two groups needed to meet before the rising political tensions could be discussed by senior party leaders. “So far, we have tried to have a meeting,” Ham said.

“But the [CPP] first said it was busy, and then said the [CNRP] did not have a leader to conduct negotiations.”He said Sokha could negotiate with the CPP’s top brass in Rainsy’s absence.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the party was not sure if the same group would represent it, and insinuated that negotiations could not secure the release of jailed opposition members. “If this means the agenda will include abuse of the competence of the court, that is impossible.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Archeologists find ancient phallic statue

    An archeological team has found a metre-long tipless stone linga (penis) of the Hindu deity Shiva in the foundations of a temple in Kratie province’s historical Samphu Borak area, a former capital of the pre-Angkor Empire Chenla period. Thuy Chanthourn, the deputy director of

  • Man arrested for fake PM endorsement

    The owner of currency exchange company GCG Asia Co Ltd was temporarily detained by the court yesterday for attempted fraud after Prime Minister Hun Sen reacted to the company using his name and pictures to allege his endorsement of the firm. Phnom Penh Municipal Court

  • Sihanoukville authority orders structure dismantled

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration has ordered owners of two unauthorised construction sites to immediately dismantle them and warned of legal action if the owners failed to comply. Ly Chet Niyom, development management and construction bureau chief at the provincial hall, told The Post on

  • Police seek arrest of Chinese ‘gang’

    Cambodian police remain on the lookout for 20 Chinese nationals who earlier this month posted a video clip threatening to stoke insecurity in Preah Sihanouk province, though the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh maintained the group posed no threats to Cambodia’s national security. National Police