Phnom Penh, 20 December 2013 – The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) urges Cambodia’s two main political parties to resume dialogue and embrace an attitude of compromise for the sake of peace and stability in the country. Cambodia has been in a state of political deadlock since the 28 July 2013 elections to the National Assembly. ADHOC welcomes the commitment to peace so far expressed by both parties, as demonstrated not only in words but in the relative lack of political violence in the election and post-election period as compared to previous elections in the country.
ADHOC proposes both sides agree to a mid-term election that can provide a meaningful, lasting, democratic and most importantly peaceful solution to the current stalemate. Few countries have endured the level of political violence as Cambodia and both parties have a duty to ensure they act responsibly so that the country is not again scarred by conflict. ADHOC believes there is significant common ground between the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP). This common ground, as outlined below, can and should form the basis for an agreement to hold a mid-term election within a time-frame that is satisfactory to both parties and their supporters.
Since the July election the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) has repeatedly taken to the streets to protest what it perceives as widespread fraud and electoral irregularities. It is now threatening to block major highways. The CNRP has called for major reforms to the National Election Committee (NEC), which it claims is heavily bias toward the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP). CNRP leader Mr. Sam Rainsy and his party argue that they won at least 63 seats in the election, and would have won more had the election been free and fair. The CNRP has put forward three solutions to Cambodia’s deadlock. The first of these is an electoral investigation; the second option is fresh elections and the third and final option is that Prime Minister Hun Sen resigns.