Opposition leader Sam Rainsy returned from a trip to Australia on Tuesday and threatened the resumption of mass demonstrations against the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen if the ruling CPP continues to refuse opposition demands to reform the National Election Committee (NEC).
Arriving at CNRP headquarters in Phnom Penh’s Chak Angre Leu commune after a weeklong trip to Australia and New Zealand, Mr. Rainsy told supporters that the opposition was now considering its options after the apparent breakdown of the bipartisan National Electoral Commission.
“Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, we will have good news, and the news will follow the willingness of the people,” Mr. Rainsy said.
“We follow the will of the people, and if they want to do demonstrations, we will do demonstrations again—bigger and bigger,” he told about 100 supporters. “I am waiting to listen to you.”
On Monday, CPP and CNRP representatives refused to even appear alongside each other after the fourth meeting of their electoral commission, which has been marred by discord since its creation late last month.
CPP delegates have said they will not consider an opposition proposal to require two-thirds of the National Assembly to agree on appointees to the NEC, which is currently controlled by the ruling party.
The opposition in turn suggested that the issue should be discussed in direct talks between Mr. Rainsy and Prime Minister Hun Sen.