Friday, September 20, 2013

The CNRP Faces Its Dilemma But See Its Bright Future

The CNRP Delegation

Sam Raisey and Hun Sen's handshake

By ខែ្មរវឌ្ឍនកម្ម

After two rounds of taut negotiation, the CPP and CNRP have some sense of optimism which can help them to break a post-election political stalemate. However, the two parties, in principle, are still far away from each other on the key issue that both sides have to compromise on the CNRP's demand of creating an independent inquiry for election fraud, which fiercely rejected by the CPP. In such a predicament, the CNRP has faced its final dilemma--to drop this demand will alienate itself from its supporters; to continue pushing for this demand, it will face with unpredictable consequences as the time is running out to form the new legislature and the government. The CNRP may not drop that demand but is likely to swap for what can be tantamount to it. To swap the independent inquiry with the full reform of the NEC and the whole election process including all important national institutions may be more acceptable to the CPP . Nevertheless, the CNRP must not join the coalition government with the CPP under any condition, but it must take the key committee chairmanships and the president position in the Parliament while the CPP still takes control the government. This simple but practical formula will create a check and balance of power between the legislature and the government. When one party controls the legislature and the other controls the government, it will create a check and balance of power system which has been practised in most democratic countries in the world, especially in the US. Without such a system, the current government will not be accountable to the people as we have seen over the past 20 years.

The progress of negotiation between the two parties have created entanglement as they have nearly claimed of reaching some tentative agreements on many aspects of reform but not the key demand of the CNRP for creating an independent inquiry on election fraud. Yet, it is a positive sign that both parties are working hard toward a final meaningful agreement. This is a conventional rule of negotiation based on the International Relation strategy that the two parties have applied during the negotiation by trying to reach all agreements that they can do first and leave all unsolved issues to the next talk. Or they have tried to swap their demands in order to breakthrough an impasse. The CNRP may consider swapping the independent inquiry on election fraud with a future total restructure of the NEC and election process including deep reform in all government institutions and leadership in the new legislature. Such a swap of a key demand is an undesirable and unpleasant choice of the CNRP, but it has to sallow a reality sometime. We knew that Hun Sen, the CPP, the NEC are the thieves, and to negotiate with the thieves to create a court to catch them is out of touch with a reality. There is no thief in this world is willing to do so. In such a circumstance, there is no alternative way but to take a matter on our own hands, it will be risky, or to work along with them, to educate them, and to reform the system that is able to stop them from stealing again is likely successful in the future; Ultimately, they may change their conducts and accept the truth. If the CPP sincerely agree to restructure the whole election process and the NEC, it will benefit the CNRP in a long run. But to put a strong faith with this notorious regime is a premature.

To make a genuine reform with the CPP may create a bright future for the CNRP too. Based on the current election results which even have been marred by massive fraud, the CNRP will win the governorship in Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham, Kandal, Prey Veng, and even Kompot, Takev, Kompong Speu, Kompong Thom, and half of the commune chief which currently it holds 40 out of about 1100 seats, district chief, and village chief in the 2017 municipal election. Moreover, the CNRP will gain at least half of the senate seats which currently it controls only 11 out of 60 seats. But if the new election process is fair, the CNRP will even gain more votes than this prediction. The victory in these key levels of local administration will break the backbone of the CPP's power structure that is big obstacle to free and fair election and help pave the way to the final victory in the 2018. This is a great optimism that we have foreseen, but we need to be patient and endured for another five years under the iron fist rule of the current regime. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi has struggled since she was 48 years old, now she is 67 years old but still has not reached her final achievement yet. Nelson Mandela had struggled against the Apartheid Regime since he was young age, before he was elected as the first Black President of South Africa when he was 73 years old. Vietnam  made a 100 year plan to conquer our country, so we must create another 100 year plan to encounter their evil plan. Don't be discourage, we must be strong and united to save our nation from the Hanoi's proxy, the CPP, through nonviolent means that the only way we can raise our chutzpah to a final victory.

Over the past 20 years, the CPP has made rains and storms on its own will by lifting immunities, jailing, fining, exiling, cutting salaries, and expelling the the opposition MPs mercilessly. From now on, the CPP's witch-hunt era is over. It is the first time since the UN supervised election in 1993 that the opposition have gained their solid voices in the parliament to check and to block the CPP's behaviors on the floor and all arbitrary laws introduced by the government. There will be no Heng Samrin and Nguon Nhel harassing and restricting the opposition's questions any more; there will be no Cheim Yeap cutting salaries of the opposition any more; there will be no Cheang Vun chasing out Son Chay from the parliament building any more, and there will be no Hun Sen sitting to give a nonsense speech five hours without allowing questions and answers anymore... In order to achieve this goal, the CNRP must stand firmly in negotiation with the CPP demanding leadership in most important committee and subcommittee including the president position. This power is necessary for the opposition to tie up the CPP from abusing their power. This negotiation is not about sharing the power like the previous coalition government but creating a mechanism to guarantee the check and balance of power among the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches. Currently, all these three branches of power are under the ruling party's control resulting in ineffective and unaccountable government for the people.

The possible comprehensive political solution will be found if only the two parties are willing to make painful concession. The King should postpone the first parliamentarian session requested by the CNRP in order to create a more favorable atmosphere and time for the two parties to search for a possible solution that is at least acceptable to the people. So far, the CNRP has softened its stand from reducing the UN participation to merely observation role in the inquiry, but CPP has repeatedly rejected, for it is its political suicide to accept any independent inquiry into this systematic election fraud. The possible swapping of independent inquiry with a full reform of election process, the NEC, and the other important government institutions may be acceptable to the CPP if the CNRP carefully decides to make this painful concession--a dilemma it is facing now. If the election process is fair, it will definitely benefit the CNRP in the future. The CNRP will certainly win the upcoming municipal and senate election in 2017 that will pave the way for the final victory in 2018. But if the election still run in the current standard, the people will be fed up with it and ultimately will take a matter on their own hands, for they lose faith with the politicians and all national institutions.

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