Hun Sen Holds Surprise Meeting With King

Second Prime Minister Hun Sen held an unscheduled 90-minute meeting with King Nor­o­dom Sihanouk on Monday at the royal residence in Siem Reap. 

It remained unclear what the King and Hun Sen discussed, but there was speculation they talked about ways to end a boycott of the Constitutional Council, Cam­bodia’s highest judicial body.

The council has been unable to meet because of the boycott by two of its eldest members, Son Sann and Chau Sen Cocsal Chhum, who claim the body is il­legally stacked in favor of the Cambodian People’s Party.

But on his return to Phnom Penh later Monday, Hun Sen was tight-lipped and refused to comment to waiting journalists.

Son Sann Party President Son Soubert said Monday night that palace staff had told him the CPP had inquired of the King about “the validity” of Son Sann’s membership on the council while he also appears on the logo of a political party. “They linked that to his status as a member of the Con­stitutional Council,” Son Soubert said. “It doesn’t mean that he is doing any political activities.”

The Constitution requires council mem­bers to relinquish any political office. “He has no connection with the party now; he is only the adviser….That’s all,” Son Soubert ad­ded.

On Saturday, King Sihanouk denied any involvement in the boycott and issued a statement saying he was the victim of groundless allegations.

Officials in Funcinpec said the King was so angered by reports of his alleged involvement in the boycott that he was preparing to leave his home at Siem Reap to return to China, where he maintains a second home.

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