CPP, CNRP to Meet Friday to Discuss Negotiations

A working group composed of three senior members of the CPP and CNRP will meet on Friday to discuss an agenda for a renewed round of negotiations, senior officials from both parties confirmed Wednesday.

CPP Interior Ministry Secretary of State Prum Sokha, who has led the ruling party in previous rounds of post-election negotiations, said that the two parties would meet at 9 a.m. on Friday at the Senate building.

Mr. Sokha said he welcomed the CNRP’s return to the negotiating table after almost a month of demonstrations and steadfast claims from the opposition that they will not negotiate until a new election is promised.

“The agenda for negotiations we haven’t set yet, but [the CPP’s] position is unchanged. The only way, and the best way to solve the problem of the post-election crisis, is through peaceful negotiations,” Mr. Sokha said.

The secretary of state said Friday’s meeting would work out an agenda for a future meeting between Prime Minister Hun Sen and CNRP President Sam Rainsy.

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann said that he believed the meeting would take place behind closed doors, despite his party’s repeated demands that any meetings between the two parties be publicly broadcast.

Mr. Sovann said the CNRP would push for the agenda to center around reform and the calling of a new national election, as well as for any future meeting between Mr. Hun Sen and Mr. Rainsy to be in public.

He dismissed the idea that ruling party officials would not be open to the opposition’s demands.

“So far we haven’t had the meeting. We will raise these issues and see what happens,” Mr. Sovann said.

Mr. Sokha said that the CPP would not allow a meeting with Mr. Hun Sen to be opened to the public.

“Of course not, it’s negotiations,” he said. “A public forum would just be used like an election campaign again. After we have the meeting, we can release a press release with the details of the meeting.”

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