Throughout the post-election stand-off that has seen Sam Rainsy's CNRP party members refusing to take their seats, there have been several occasions when it looked as though talks between the ruling CPP and the CNRP might take place, but to date nothing has come of these apparently promising but ultimately unsuccessful efforts. This is despite the unusual intervention of the king, Norodom Sihanomi, who called on opposition members to take their seats in the parliament as long ago as September last year.

The most recent developments involving an agreement between the two opposing parties to hold talks next week do not address the central demands of the CNRP and won't 'break the deadlock', as Elliot Brennan suggested yesterday. Rather, as is clear from a report in the Cambodia Daily on 26 February, what will be discussed next week is future electoral reform.

The meeting will not discuss the key issue dividing the two parties, which is the CNRP claim of irregularities in last year's elections. So far as the CPP is concerned, that issue is not debatable. Nor is there evidence of the CPP's readiness to accede to other CNRP demands, not least the right to assume the presidency of the national assembly.

Photo by Flickr user Luc Forsyth.