Friday, August 30, 2013

Need the Most Acceptable Solution for Both Sides

The pro-democracy rally

The military police deployments

By ខែ្មរវឌ្ឍនកម្ម

The time is running out for the CPP and the CNRP to solve the post-election crisis that has dragged on for months while the CNRP have softened their demand for the UN from arbiter's role to just observation role along with the Civil Society, but the CPP seem losing their interest to form any independent inquiry to look into this election fraud. But when the CNRP have set their deadline for mass protest, the CPP seem willing to reopen negotiation with the CNRP based on the current election results, which the CNRP have already rejected. The CPP, actually, have interested to negotiate with CNRP for sharing the power in the new National Assembly and creating the new government while the CNRP have demanded justice for the voters first before talking about the new government. To reach an acceptable solution, both sides must make some painful concessions in the next negotiation in order to move the country forward from the current political deadlock.

Before going into this discussion, we must recognize that this election is clearly not free and fair from its start to the end. The opening of the ballot safety boxes is just one small part of the whole systematic fraud verification, and nothing will affect the current election results unless all the ballots will be double checked and recounted. But NEC and the Constitutional Council, which flagrantly controlled by the CPP, have not intended to do so; they have just tried to finish their jobs or to manipulate the public. However, the CNRP have to force themselves to go through this procedure albeit they already knew that these institutions are unable to find them justice. Now the time is coming for the two parties to take a concrete step to breakthrough this political ice burg. The deadline for mass election protests is one week away and for the first new elected parliamentarian session one month away, so the two parties must soften their stand in order to avert such an unforeseen crisis. In such a critical moment, the two parties should search for exit strategies and saving face solutions while the will of the people and the democratic principle still being respected. Keep in mind that in peace negotiation, there is no winner or loser in the process but acceptable outcomes for all the involved parties.

The independent inquiry comprising of the two parties, the NEC, and the observation roles from the UN and the Civil Society should be fair enough for all parties to accept it. The two parties should reopen the new round of negotiations in order to form a real independent inquiry rather than to accuse or to paint each other as a pretext for using of violent forces to end the crisis. Recently, the CPP has circulated the fabricated documents via the Interior Ministry linking the CNRP with the outlawed People Power Movement of Mr. Sourn Serey Ratha planning to topple the government through the mass protests. This is the smeared campaign that used to be practised by the regime in the past, and recently has used against the four youths who had planned to distribute flowers to the deployed troops. This is an unacceptable political tactic against the opposition as well as the innocent people. If the CPP honestly need peace, stability, and prosperity for the country, they must give up all form of violence and intimidation against the people and their opponents. We used to hear the CPP have talked about national unity, national reconciliation, and good will  with their opponents, but instead, they used their ill will to break up and buy out their opponents over the past 20 years--the Forncinpec, the Son San, and Sam Rainey Parties were the victims of this political tactic. Now it's time for CPP to speak the truths and to practise what they have preached.

Recently, Chea Sim, the CPP's President has said that his party always had a good will to negotiate with the opposition based on the spirit of national reconciliation, but at the same time the Interior Ministry, the proxy of the CPP, has published the dubious documents painting the CNPR as the plotters to overthrow the government. Such an accusation can be used as the pretext by the government to imprison the opposition leaders and to use violent forces against their supporters. While the CPP have heavily deployed the troops on the streets, simultaneously they have told the people through their TVs and the other media networks that the political situation in the country is normal as usual. Frankly speaking, the CPP usually have created problems for the country and at the same time insisted that the country has no  problems. Evidently,in the past, from 1979 to 1989, when about 200,000 Vietnamese troops had occupied the country, they absurdly claimed that Cambodia had no problem, and the 1997 bloody coup against their partners in the government, the Forncinpec , had caused heavy casualties, but they still claimed that Cambodia had no problem. All these few past examples have clearly reflected to the current post-election crisis when the CPP have deployed the tanks, armored vehicles, and other heavy machine guns on the streets and have declared that there is no crisis just to protect public safety.

To avert the current post-election crisis, the top leaders of both parties must meet with each other face to face to solve the problem sincerely based on the spirit of the Khmer interest and democratic principle. The two parties have to soften their stands but the will of the people and democratic principle must be recognized. The withdrawal of troop deployment and the postpone of the mass protests may be the first step to reduce the current tension. the urgent creation of the independent inquiry to look into the alleged election fraud would be another positive step to end the crisis. And if these initial steps do not happen soon, the current situation will turn worse, and both parties will resort to their means to face one another on the streets. The CNRP will bring mass protests to the streets, and the CPP will be ready to use their deployed troops to crack down the protesters. The CNRP will boycott the first new elected parliamentarian session, and the CPP will go alone with their 68 elected members even prohibited by the constitution. All these scenarios will create a deeper crisis for the country: the CPP may lose their legitimacy to rule the country while the CNPR may temporary lose their seats in the National Assembly. Meanwhile, the international community will swiftly react to such a situation especially from the US, the EU, and the other donor countries. The current regime will pay the heavy price if the donor countries do not recognize the new government created from this dubious election results and cut all their billions of dollar of annual financial aids along with exports from Cambodia.

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