US Senators John McCain and Mitch McConnell on Wednesday threw their support behind the Alliance of Democrats, a day after meeting with two of its leaders, Funcinpec Secretary-General Prince Norodom Sirivudh and opposition leader Sam Rainsy.
In a statement, McConnell called the Alliance’s demand to remove Prime Minister Hun Sen “reasonable and realistic.”
“It is in America’s interest that Cambodia becomes a stable and democratic nation grounded in the rule of law. This will not happen under Hun Sen,” he said. “Instead, the prime minister has created an environment in which terrorism and triad activities flourish.”
In a separate statement, McCain urged the quick and peaceful formation of a new coalition government.
“To enjoy legitimacy, the formation of a national government must reflect the will of the Cambodian people, as expressed in the results of the July election. No leader has a presumptive right to rule,” McCain said.
CPP spokesman Om Yentieng on Thursday declined to comment, saying he had not read the statements.
Party officials said Prince Sirivudh and Sam Rainsy were in France on Thursday, having concluded their meetings with US officials, including James Kelly, the US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
Speaking by telephone from Paris on Thursday, Sam Rainsy said he had secured assurances from top US officials that the US would not interfere with the formation of the government and would not support any interim government led by Hun Sen.
In an interview with Radio Free Asia broadcast Wednesday night, Sam Rainsy said US officials had vowed to react strongly to any violence aimed at the Alliance. Prince Sirivudh and Sam Rainsy are due to return to Cambodia Sept 18.
The new National Assembly is due to convene by Sept 27, and at that meeting is expected to elect an Assembly president and vice president.
(Additional reporting by David Kihara and Wency Leung)