Ordinary Citizens Fear Prolonged Stalemate

The lack of a new government and the political parties’ stubbornness in forming one has some people worried about their security and livelihood.

The tough-talking standoff between the CPP and the Al­liance of Democrats is too familiar to many. The 1998 post-election period was similar, until it combusted in violent confrontation and mayhem.

Some people voiced their fears last week.

“I am glad when we have peace for years, but now every day I am very worried,” said Chhou Ny, a vendor at Phsar Tuol Tumpong. “When [the parties] have a dispute with each other, we—small people—are the victims of this war,” he said.

Eam Phorn, a former Khmer Rouge soldier who lives in Kors Kralor district, Battambang prov­ince, said last week that farmers like him need good security and stability.

“If you have a problem and you make people scared and intimidated, we will lose the market for selling rice,” Eam Phorn said. “We don’t want to be soldiers anymore. It is enough [to have] more than 20 years of bloodshed with the Vietnamese and civil war.”

Sathol Miura of the Apex Cambodia Travel Service is concerned about the standoff’s effect on business.

“We are concerned about damaging business because of demonstrations and shooting if a new government is not created,” Sathol Miura said.

Kim Phally, chief of the Tourism Transport Association, said, “Now the situation is normal, but we do not know what will happen in the future…. For us to make money, it depends on the government’s policy and the situation in the country.”

Dy Tang of Battambang prov­ince’s Thmar Koul district voiced a different view. “I am very glad when the three parties have an argument just through ex­pressing their ideas and don’t have to fight each other using violence and weapons,” Dy Tang said.


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