>‘No Development, No Democracy’: HRP

>Mr. Kem Sokha

30 September 2008
Khmer audio aired 29 September 2008 (5.40MB) – Download (MP3) audio clip
Khmer audio aired 29 September 2008 (5.40MB) – Listen (MP3) audio clip

Cambodia’s development and democracy must grow out of internal political stability, a leading opposition official said Monday.

Kem Sokha, whose Human Rights Party won three seats in July’s election but who has refused to join the government, said Monday there would not be growth without political stability.

“No political stability, no democracy,” he said, as a guest on “Hello VOA.”

The ruling Cambodian People’s Party must also respect the views of the minority party, for stability to take root, he said.

The CPP won a sweeping majority of National Assembly seats in July’s national parliamentary elections, which were followed by weeks of political wrangling.

The opposition Human Rights and Sam Rainsy parties held out for weeks on joining the new government, saying the elections were fraudulent and flawed.

Last week, the Sam Rainsy Party brought its 26 lawmakers into the National Assembly, but the Human Rights Party maintained a boycott.

The resulting government saw the CPP take control of all 26 ministries and all nine committees of the National Assembly. Several government posts were given to the former coalition partner in the government, Funcinpec, which won two seats in July. No positions were offered to the Norodom Ranariddh Party, which won two seats as well.

Kem Sokha said Monday his party had won three seats and that “no one” could take them away.

Meanwhile, the party has continued its boycott of the National Assembly, leaving only 120 of 123 seats filled. However, the party has requested a separate wearing-in from the now-formed National Assembly, Kem Sokha said.

The party has maintained a position that the election was fraudulent, that voters were prevented from casting ballots and that false names were added at polling stations.

Kem Sokha also called on reform of the National Assembly to better reflect multi-party politics, as well as a judiciary “to serve the people’s interest.”

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