Hanoi, Vietnam -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/01/2013 -- The narrow margin of defeat for the opposition party in Cambodia’s recent elections has left the country in an unstable position until something is sorted out. The Leader of Cambodia National Rescue Party, Sam Rainsy has just returned home saying that he expects Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a full and impartially investigation into the allegations of electoral fraud. Nobody is expecting this to happen and there are growing fears of violent confrontation.
The opposition made huge strides in raising their number of seats from 29 to 55, but claim that they should have had 63. That would have given them victory and seen a political change in the country that many feel is overdue. The Cambodia National Rescue Party has threatened to hold massive demonstrations if an independent impartial committee does not resolve the complaints of widespread vote rigging.
More than one thousand military police officers took part in simulated exercises in preparation for any public unrest. The exercises took place at the The Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh. Film of the preparations were posted on facebook and show, officers in plain clothing acting as civilians. These are seen as sending out mixed signals. Some people think it is preparing for violence, whilst others say it is the best way to prevent violence and allow for peaceful protest.
Cambodia is more than used to civil unrest in recent years. In fact it’s history is one of the most turbulent on the planet. It is not surprising that it is taking years to settle down. Holiday makers in Cambodia would have no real idea but there has always been an undercurrent of trouble behind the veneer of a happy population.
The country is viewed as a peaceful people at ease with everything. However there is much unhappiness and resentment at grass roots level. The amount of foreign aid has been extraordinary but has not been reflected in improvements to either infrastructure nor local economies. This is an extremely poor country, but quite frankly shouldn’t be.
Sam Rainsy was in the United States primarily to attend his daughter’s wedding. He did though have meetings with both senior United States officials and top United Nations representatives. He has asked on behalf of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, for participation from both.
Speaking from Phnom Penh’s International Airport he told reporters, “Nobody would recognize any government stemming from fake elections,” It is seen as a brave move in the face of threats of violence. Maybe there is one more twist to still come in the writing of history of this amazing but troubled Southeast Asian country.
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