UN Human rights expert calls for political dialogue in CambodiaListen /
Cambodia still has some way to go in promoting and protecting human rights and strengthening good governance, according to a UN human rights expert.
Surya Prasad Subedi, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia says although the recent general election was largely peaceful, failure by the government to facilitate prompt, impartial and credible investigation into allegation of electoral irregularities had set a bad precedent.
Briefing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Mr Subedi expressed concern over the indiscriminate and excessive use of force by security forces against peaceful demonstrators who were voicing their discontent with the outcome of the 28 July general elections.
He called for open dialogue between the government and the opposition to resolve the ongoing political impasse and set the country on a credible roadmap to democracy.
"I regret to say that it seems yet to be understood in Cambodia that an inherent part of the democratization process is for all persons to be able to express their views freely and that the role of the State in peaceful demonstrations is to facilitate, not hinder, them. Having said this, I continue to believe that the leaders of Cambodia can still, even at this late stage, make this election a milestone in the journey to making Cambodia a just, equitable, and free society. It is my sincere hope that in the process, the situation will be resolved without further injuries or loss of life, and that the will of the people will be reflected in the new governance structure that will lead the country on its path to a true democracy."
Mr Subedi regretted that the opposition had boycotted the opening of the national assembly earlier this week, but said a proposal made in the house to reallocate seats their seats to another political party would have no basis in either national or international law
Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.