Students Call For Stability to Return to Classes

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.”

she said.


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