Phnom Penh university students are urging politicians to form a new government as soon as possible, saying their schoolwork is suffering because they’re afraid to leave their homes due to post-election instability.
“I need the parties to form a new government as fast as they can because students are scared to go out for their study,” said Heang Virak, 22, a student at the National Institute of Management.
He added that, although there has been no sign of politically motivated violence in the aftermath of the July 27 election, people are still living in fear.
Some students said their parents have asked them to return to their home provinces to escape any potential outbreak of violence in the capital, and many are agreeing to do so.
“My parents suggested that I go home to Kompong Cham province because they’ve heard rumors there will be a big demonstration against the election results,” said Kan Navy, 20, who studies at Build Bright University.
She said many of her classmates have left school and would not return until after the National Election Committee announces the official election results. The NEC is expected to release the final ballot counts on Friday.
In the event of unruly demonstrations, Phnom Penh residents and students could suffer the most, said Thy Sokuntheavy, a 19-year-old student at the National Institute of Management.
“Politicians are like elephants and we are like ants,” she said. “Elephants are fighting, but we are the ants who would be killed.”
Thy Sokuntheavy added that she will not participate in any demonstrations, saying students are not political pawns. Instead, she said, many of her classmates will appeal to King Norodom Sihanouk to intervene in a potential political deadlock. “Only the King can find a good resolution for those main three political parties.”