CPP Denounces Protests, Calls For Talks

The CPP on Thursday condemned the opposition’s sit-in demonstration and dismissed the demand for an interim government to oversee new elections.

But the ruling party said it was open to talks with Funcinpec to break the deadlock in the formation of a new government.

“The CPP strongly refuses any idea to attempt to form a temporary government in any form,” said the party statement read on CPP-affiliated Bayon radio. “Be­cause in so doing, it is against the Constitution and…directly de­stroys the results of the July 26 elections.”

But, the statement continued, “The CPP is prepared to hold talks with Funcinpec in order to tackle the country’s present issues.”

Sam Rainsy said Thursday he is appealing for talks with all three parties.

The terse CPP statement also appealed to the opposition leaders to stop their “hostile” act against the CPP, “because these unfriendly acts are not beneficial for the country, its people or for each political party.”

Rather, the CPP appealed to the parties to respect the will of the voters and think of maintaining social order.

Separately, CPP officials on Thursday called the continuing pro­test near the National As­sembly illegal, and said they were afraid it might deteriorate into violence.

Sar Kheng, co-minister of Interior, said the government has done what it can to advise the opposition leaders to stop, but that the demonstration continues without permission.

“So this means that he [Sam Rainsy] acts against the law,” Sar Kheng said. He reiterated, however, an earlier position that the government would prefer the demonstration to “dissolve by itself” peacefully.

Defense co-Minister Tea Banh also indicated that preference. But, he said, “If we refer to the law, the government has the right to stop him.”

Meas Sophea, RCAF deputy chief of general staff, was on TV5 Wednesday night reminding soldiers that they are banned from the demonstration, as well as anyone with a weapon “in order to ensure security for the people.”

Chea Sophara, first deputy governor of the municipality of Phnom Penh and a member of the CPP, has called the demonstration “meaningless” and has encouraged residents to get on with their normal daily activities.

He predicted that soon people will grow tired of joining the protest. “The more Rainsy continues, the more people will hate his activity,” Chea Sophara said.

(Additional reporting by Jeff Smith)




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