Funcinpec Meets, Stands Firm in Boycott Plans

A senior Funcinpec official said Wednesday the party still will not join any coalition government with the CPP despite offers by Se­cond Prime Minister Hun Sen. 

The comments were made following a nearly three-hour meeting of elected Funcinpec parliamentarians at the cabinet headquarters of party President Prince Norodom Ranariddh.

“We are still standing firm that we are not going to form the government with the CPP, unless all irregularities are solved,” Funcin­pec parliamentarian Ahmad Yah­ya told reporters shortly after the meeting.

The prince called the meeting to keep party members abreast of the latest political developments.

Funcinpec has maintained that it will boycott a coalition government until it is satisfied with the National Election Committee’s investigation into its claims of election fraud. In Tuesday’s vote recounting at the NEC’s Phnom Penh headquarters, officials found some 2,000 votes had not been counted toward Funcinpec.

The find allegedly raised Fun­cinpec’s Rokar Pram commune totals in Kompong Cham pro-vince from about 5,000 to about 7,000.

However, the NEC immediately stopped recounting as it uncovered more votes beyond the 2,000 that had not been attributed to Funcinpec, Ahmad Yahya said.

“This is an irregularity. When they found more Funcinpec votes they were ordered to stop further recounting right away by only saying that they had no time to do it,” he said.

The claim was not independently confirmed with the NEC.

The NEC has pledged to re-count 10 separate commune-level totals, but stopped Tuesday after completing the eighth. None of the recount results disclosed by the NEC revealed fraud as al­leged by opposition parties.

“We have to look at irregularities even though the NEC rejected the complaint. We have to make requests to the Consti­tutional Council. We want to hear what is the answer,” Ahmad Yah-ya said.

If the NEC has still not solved alleged election irregularities, “How can Funcinpec recognize the election?” he asked.

The NEC on Tuesday rejected about 300 remaining complaints alleged by opposition parties, and suggested that parties file all complaints to the Constitutional Council, the final arbiter in election-related disputes.



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