Hun Sen Calls for Quick Formation of Gov’t

Second Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday called for the speedy formation of the new government following the July 26 polls, saying the monarch’s well-being depends on it.

In a speech broadcast on Na­tional Radio, Hun Sen said that Chinese doctors treating King Norodom Sihanouk had advised him to return to Beijing in order to undergo medical checks, but that the monarch had promised to stay until the new government was formed.

“The sooner we prepare for a coalition government, the quicker we will be able to form it after the National Assembly convenes,” Hun Sen said. “This will give the King the chance to go and have his health check, which is already overdue. If there is a delay, it would mean a delay for the King’s medical treatment.”

Hun Sen visited the monarch at his Siem Reap residence Friday to gain his en­dorsement of a plan for a three-way coalition comprising Fun­cinpec, the CPP and the Sam Rainsy Party.

But opposition leaders have held out on negotiating a coalition, saying it is premature to do so before official election results are released.

In the speech, Hun Sen also said that a government should be in place before the UN General Assembly meets in September, in order for Cambodia to regain the seat it lost following the factional fighting of July 1997.

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