|Image credit: www.khmertimes.kh|
Continuous informal contacts between the two parties--CPP and CNRP, regional tension China-Vietnam conflict, and Thai military coup--may contribute to bring the two Cambodian rivals to a near political deal though they still have to forge some technical issues. Recently, Hun Sen has made some political concessions, releasing the 25 detainees arrested during past protests, agreeing to create a national election committee as the constitutional body and allow the opposition to own its TV station. Despite such a concession fell short to the opposition demand, it helped pushing the stalled negotiation moving forward to a near final political deal. However, along with his concession, Hun Sen also has tied his knot with the opposition, organizing his supporters to intimidate and disrupt the opposition rallies and activities around the countries such as in Koh Kong province, a former Khmer Rouge base, Anlong Veng, Poipet and so forth. Such an intimidation is not new and seen as physical threats to force the opposition to end their parliamentary boycott that has cost Hun Sen's government legitimacy so far. Now both sides apparently exhaust their political energy and run out of their options, therefore a political concession must be contributed from both parties in order to end this protracted post-election crisis.
There are some pro and con for the opposition making a political deal with Hun Sen who has clung to power no matter what a deal looks like. According to Kim Sokha's statement, the CNRP may make further concession from demanding midterm election demand, the most sticking point, to just three possible conditions: the new created national election committee must be approved by two-third of votes from the MPs, equal power sharing in the parliament, and free use of state TV and radio by the opposition or the opposition can obtain their own TV license. These demands are not difficult for the CPP to accept. Now the CPP has agreed to give equal chair committee posts (5 posts) to the CNRP and a first vice president of the National Assembly post while the CPP holds the president and second vice president posts. For TV license, it should not be a problem since Hun Sen let the CNRP apply a license through the private company. But a technical dispute over how to create a new NEC has become a sticking point again, for the CPP demands 50 percent +1 votes to create the NEC while the CNRP wants two-third votes since 50 percent + 1 formula will allow the CPP to create the NEC on its own will again.