Wed, Jul 23, 2014 - Page 6 News List

Opposition party in Cambodia to end parliament boycott

AFP, PHNOM PENH

Cambodia’s main opposition party announced yesterday that it had struck a deal with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to end its year-long boycott of parliament triggered by a disputed election.

The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) said it had agreed to break the deadlock in return for a promise of electoral reforms.

“Today we have reached a common political resolution to end the political crisis,” opposition leader Sam Rainsy told reporters after talks with Hun Sen.

“We have no choice,” he added. “The only appropriate way is to end the political crisis and the tense situation.”

Hun Sen described the deal as a “success.”

The CNRP has boycotted parliament since elections in July last year, accusing Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party of widespread vote-rigging.

Analysts say Rainsy’s return to the negotiating table may have been spurred by last week’s arrest of the eight CNRP politicians for insurrection over a protest in the capital which saw clashes between demonstrators and security forces.

Rights groups have denounced the charges against the politicians, who could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

The two main political parties have agreed to ask the court handling the case to speed up the procedure so the politicians can seek release on bail.

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