Cambodian Political Deadlock: A Trend or An Excuse?

Since the election on 28 July 2013—when we witnessed a changing trend among Cambodians in political sphere which political debate and question on political parties for a concrete policy was raised and never so in the history—the uncertainty of how political resolution around the election result has continued. The problem continued at the controversy of the election result at which both preliminarily result and now the official result was maintained that the ruling party, the Cambodian People Party (CPP), won 68 seats while the joined opposition party—merged between the Human Rights Party and Sam Rainsy Party—now known as the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) disputed on the result that it won only 55 seats and the later also demand a joint independent investigation body to investigate on reported election irregularities.

Following the first peaceful mass demonstration organized by the CNRP on 7th September 2013—that majority of public was fear of clash might happen while the transitional government has deployed numerous military officials with full of crackdown equipment and weapons; and yet thank to both sides for peaceful actions to make the demonstration went through peacefully at the end—the trend of mass demonstration is going to be continued as the official election result was announced a day after of demonstration as it had scheduled. The opposition party also declared to boycott the first national assembly meeting if the problem is not settled. Such move is to prevent a new government for 5th mandate be formed legally while the ruling party and the affiliated National Election Committee (NEC) claimed they could continue to form the government although there is boycott from the opposition members.

There are many analysis and suggestion by individuals and civil society regarding this political deadlock; however, the problem still remains. Thus the question is why: Is it a trend that Cambodians should face with power division or an excuse by either politicians to solve it?

I rather view the current political deadlock as the excuse by both sides of parties. The one who claimed to win the votes of people but dare not to address the problem properly and has failed to show enough effort toward resolution. The other side, opposition party, has also played an excuse around this political deadlock. The opposition party should aware already that the nature of the election arbitration body, which is NEC and the party leaders, had once discussed to boycott joining election since beginning and yet, they ended up to join this battlefield while the top leader claimed the method of boycott at the end when the election result would not satisfy them—the now move that the party has taken.

Having said so, I did not mean the election itself has been well organized nor I accepted the election result, but I could see room that both sides could talk and seek resolution together without playing the same game that an ordinary citizens could predict. Probably the game has already been settled secretly or not, yet the parties’ need to aware the power of people now has changed and any steps would be taken, the citizens are watching.

For any positive steps for either sides are going to take now would give a plus for them as for CPP would restore the trust from the public that lose confident in them (CPP shall not view with the current slight wining as the victory, but they shall review the huge decline of vote considering with much resource and effort it has made during the previous mandate and during election propaganda) and for the CNRP to work on promise it has made and to maintain the support it shall gain. The parties has make a remarkable change in history of political debate when the policy was used as the battle field and reduced the individualism attack and we has witnessed the affecting trend on government policies in transparency lately. Thus, it would be more beneficial for people if the opposition party would agree the current intake, without losing this opportunity, but negotiate for more involvement in legislative and executive body to make a long-term effect with proper reform.

Anyway, in this digital society, the parties need to be aware that they could not easily manipulate people as they used to do in the name of people interest, it is the time when people are caring to make their own interest work.


Leave a Reply