CPP Rejects One-Party Gov’t Proposal as Ploy

The CPP has dismissed an of­fer allowing it to form a one-party government as a ploy by Funcin­pec “hard-liners” to prevent a co­alition government, party spokes­man Khieu Kanharith said Thurs­day.

“This is a hard-liner group that aims to burn the bridge,” he said.

This week, the Alliance of Dem­ocrats offered an arrangement that the CPP could continue its rule in the executive branch if it conceded control of the Nation­al Assem­bly, accepted the Alli­ance’s political platform and re­tained opposition and royalist civil servants.

But CPP officials, who have dropped negotiations for a tripartite government and now calling for a coalition government with Funcinpec, say they will only consider negotiation offers from Fun­cinpec President Prince Noro­dom Ranariddh.

The prince, who has led the royalist party into a coalition with the CPP in two previous mandates, is expected to meet with Prime Minister Hun Sen when the prince returns from a trip abroad. His return date is un­known.

“We looked at the Alliance’s statement but we don’t care,” Khieu Kanharith said. “Only Prince Norodom Ranariddh’s statement will we take into consideration.”

Hun Sen called the proposal a “trick” in a speech Wednesday and said he had already conceded too much in negotiating a new government, which have now stretched nearly eight months.

“I have eaten more salt than they have eaten rice during these negotiations,” he said.

Funcinpec spokesman Kassie Neou defended the Alliance’s re­cent proposal. “We would allow the CPP to control the executive, but we control the whole legislative body…. We want to promote check, balance and accountability between the executive and legislative bodies,” he said.

He added that the agreement depended on a CPP pledge to keep Funcinpec officials in their current positions in the government.

San Rainsy Party spokes­man Ung Bun-Ang said his party also endorsed the proposal.

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