Cambodia’s former opposition leader says open to talks with Prime Minister

Vastavam web: Cambodia’s former opposition leader Sam Rainsy said on Sunday he was open to talks with Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has held power since 1985, to end a crisis caused by the dissolution of the main opposition party ahead of elections in July.The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was dissolved by the Supreme Court last November at the request of Hun Sen’s government who said they had been plotting to take power with the help of the United States. The CNRP denies the allegation.

Sam Rainsy resigned as president of the CNRP in 2017 but remains one of the government’s most visible critics.He had previously served as finance minister in an ill-fated coalition set up when Hun Sen refused to give up power after losing a U.N.-organized election in 1993.“I am always open to meeting with Hun Sen’s government in order to find a peaceful solution to this unprecedented crisis, a solution that would be acceptable to both sides with international guarantees,” Sam Rainsy said in a tweet on Sunday.A crackdown by Hun Sen’s government and its allies has included non-governmental organizations, opposition lawmakers and some independent media.

Hun Sen, who will visit Australia in mid-March for a regional meeting, said on Friday he is open to holding talks to end the crisis but would not negotiate a change to criminal convictions brought against opposition figures.Cambodia’s former opposition leader