CPP Group To Meet with King Today

Top CPP officials including Second Prime Minister Hun Sen are scheduled to meet with King Norodom Sihanouk in Siem Reap today to discuss ways to avert a constitutional crisis.

On Tuesday, the CPP was officially declared the winner of the July 26 election, but the opposition continues to refuse to recognize the results and threatens to boycott the formation of a new government.

While the CPP won a majority in the 122-seat National Assem­bly, it did not win the two-thirds necessary to form the new government on its own.

The CPP has been trying to garner support for a constitutional change that would allow it to rule alone. Most recently, the CPP has indicated it would push for that change in the new As­sem­bly rather than the old one.

But 84 parliamentarians are needed for a quorum. Analysts have said it’s unlikely the CPP can muster that support.

The King also has weighed in on the issue, recently saying that the change should be made only with the consent of all three major parties. That is expected to be one topic of discussion today.

CPP spokesman Khieu Kan­harith said the delegation wants to get a sense from the King when he would like the new Assembly to convene. The timing “depends if we push ahead with the constitutional change,” Khieu Kanharith said.

Members of the new As­sembly were scheduled to be sworn in on Sept 24, a day after the current government’s mandate expires.

Khieu Kanharith reiterated Wednesday that the CPP also is open to coalition talks with Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party. “The ball is on their side,” he said. The King also has offered to mediate if requested.

The CPP delegation scheduled to meet with the King today also includes Honorary Chair­man Heng Samrin, President Chea Sim and Treasurer Chea Soth. Hun Sen and Chea Sim already have met separately with the King at least once since the election.



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