Alliance Demands Compared to 1993 Hun Sen

The Alliance of Democrats’ demands on the formation of a new government echo those made by Prime Minister Hun Sen 10 years ago when the CPP lost the 1993 general election, politicians and civil society groups said this week.

By demanding to stay in power despite the CPP’s defeat in 1993, Hun Sen set the example for post-election conflicts, they said.

“This bad habit is continuing,” Chea Vannath, director of the Center for Social Development, said on Wednesday.

In 1993, the CPP called the Un­tac-administered vote unacceptable, saying it was neither free nor fair—a claim that is now being repeated after the July 27 general election, Chea Vannath said.

Although the CPP won July’s vote with 73 National Assembly seats, it is nine seats short of governing alone. The Alliance, which is comprised of Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party, says it will not join a coalition with the CPP as long as Hun Sen remains premier.

Ten years ago, the post-election conflict was settled after King Norodom Sihanouk named Hun Sen as second prime minister and Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the president of the winning Funcin­pec, as first prime minister.

Considering how political power has been divided in the past, the Alliance’s call for a change of prime minister is fair, said Kem Sokha, director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights.

“I think the Alliance of Demo­crats’ demands are appropriate. They don’t demand the same as the prime minister [in 1993] to be the second prime minister,” he said Wednesday.

Hun Sen, however, told report­ers earlier this week that Funcin­pec and the Sam Rainsy Party are asking for too much.

“Those who don’t have power want power, so they set high demands. They want too much,” he said Tuesday.

Hun Sen said he will remain as premier because he had been elected by the people to serve a third mandate. He declined to comment about the post-election conflict of 1993.

CPP spokesman Khieu Kanha­rith said Wednesday that one reason Hun Sen refused to step down in 1993 was because Untac had amended 12 points of the election law without the approval of the Supreme National Council.

He added that, unlike Funcin­pec and the Sam Rainsy Party, the CPP had made its complaints before the vote, not afterward.

Funcinpec Deputy Secretary-General Serey Kosal placed the blame with Untac for not taking tough measures to remove Hun Sen in 1993.

“Untac in 1993 was very gentle. If [the UN] were brave enough, as they were in Kosovo, then there wouldn’t be a CPP,” he  said.

Serey Kosal added: “Prime Minister Hun Sen has set this bad example [of not properly resolving post-election disputes], which has become a bad habit for the political parties until now.”

Chea Vannath criticized all three parties for thinking more about power than the welfare of the country.

“Now the three leaders still think about their parties’ interests rather than the nation’s interest,” Chea Vannath said. “So far, I don’t hear that they have promised the people to stop corruption and illegal logging.”


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