CPP, Funcinpec Coalition Talks Set for Tuesday

Rainsy Party’s Role Remains Unclear

Representatives from the CPP and Funcinpec are set to meet Tuesday in Phnom Penh to begin negotiations on forming a coalition government, officials said Sunday.

However, they disagreed on whether the Sam Rainsy Party would be represented.

CPP spokesman Khieu Kan­harith said Sam Rainsy’s par­ty will not take part, implying the party will not be part of the next coalition government. “The Sam Rainsy Party is not going to be a part of the meeting because this negotiation must be a biparty discussion only,” Khieu Kanharith said.

However, Funcinpec officials, including Mu Sochua and Tol Lah, said Sunday that Sam Rainsy’s party had been invited to the talks by King Norodom Siha­nouk and could take part.

The new 122-member parliament which was sworn in Thurs­day is expected to begin work Wednesday. The parliament will elect its own leaders and carry on business while negotiations about the next government continue, officials said.

The two major parties have already selected their seven-member teams for the joint working group to meet Tuesday. Tol Lah said the Funcinpec team will consist of himself; Rural De­velopment Minister Hong Sun Huot; parliamentarian Veng Sereyvuth; Interior co-Minister You Hockry; parliamentarian Pok Thon; Cambodia’s envoy to the UN and a Funcinpec steering com­mittee member Prince Si­sowath Sirirath; and Justice Sec­retary of State Uk Vithun.

The CPP team includes: In­terior co-Minister Sar Kheng, co-min­ister of the Council of Min­isters Sok An, Defense co-Min­ister Tea Banh, CPP Secretary-General Say Chhum, Interior Sec­retary of State Im Chhum Lim, Justice Minister Chem Snguon, and CPP parliamentarian for Siha­nouk­ville and former party cabinet director Ith Sam Heng, Khieu Kanharith said.





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