Deputy Prime Minister Sok An met with the top U.S. diplomat in Cambodia on Friday to discuss the formation of the country’s National Assembly following the disputed July 28 election.
Both the ruling CPP and opposition CNRP claim to have won the ballot, and the opposition has called for an investigation, with international involvement, into allegations of large-scale irregularities at polling stations.
The U.S. is yet to publicly recognize any result and the U.S. State Department has said there must be a credible investigation into allegations of electoral irregularities.
“Both sides have discussed at length about the process to move forward to the opening of the first Session of the Fifth Legislature of National Assembly of the formation of the Royal Government of Cambodia,” says a statement issued by the Council of Ministers’ Press and Quick Reaction Unit following the meeting between Mr. An and U.S. Ambassador William Todd.
“The two sides have also exchanged their views on how to broaden the good bilateral relations between the two countries and peoples in light of this General Election outcome which is the will of the general population of Cambodia,” the statement adds.
Earlier in July, U.S. Congress discussed the possibility of cutting U.S. aid to Cambodia if the elections were not deemed free and fair.
Friday’s statement also said Mr. An and Mr. Todd had “launched an appeal for a calm and peaceful means to resolve these issues and must avoid all forms of violence so as to maintain a good and stable environment for people’s normal life.”
The lack of resolution to the opposition’s complaints and deployment of armed vehicles near Phnom Penh last week have raised fears of unrest.
U.S. Embassy officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but for the second week running, Mr. Todd used his regular Sunday column in the popular Rasmei Kampuchea newspaper to address the post-election situation.
“As the world watches Cambodia work through its procedures for resolving the electoral outcome, I urge all parties and their supporters to continue their work to build Cambodia’s democratic future through mutual dialogue and to ensure an atmosphere that is calm, peaceful, and non-violent,” Mr. Todd wrote.
“In keeping with the spirit of a fair and transparent democratic process, the United States urges the leaders of Cambodia’s political parties to work together for an outcome that serves the best interests of the Cambodian people.”