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Opposition parties mull merger ahead of elections

Opposition parties mull merger ahead of elections

Cambodia’s fragmented opposition parties are promising to work together, rather than compete against each other for votes. All it took was another crushing victory at the polls for the country’s ruling party.

Few expected the governing Cambodian People’s Party, with Prime Minister Hun Sen at its helm, to lose in nationwide local elections held here June 3. Yet the way in which it won—securing a commanding 97 percent of commune chief seats nationwide—was particularly decisive.

If the election was a barometer to gauge the political climate ahead of key parliamentary elections scheduled for 2013, then it showed that a great deal of work lies ahead for what is still a divided opposition.

Questions persist for Khmer Rouge tribunal

The United Nations must address a “crisis of confidence” at the beleaguered Khmer Rouge war crimes tribunal in Cambodia following the resignation of a controversial judge, critics say.

News this week that Siegfried Blunk, one of two investigating judges at the UN-backed tribunal, resigned citing political interference is raising questions about the legacy of the court itself.

Critics say the high-profile departure shows significant moves must be taken to ensure the integrity of the tribunal, known officially as the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, or ECCC.

"The court is already seen as compromised," one observer says. 

A news analysis piece. 

Understanding climate change

Understanding climate change

The rains were kind to farmer Tep Van last year. The monsoon season doused his land with enough water to soak his fields and grow his precious rice crop. But he’s not sure he can count on the same luck this year.