Hun Sen Now Wants 3-Party Coalition

Sihanouk Also OKs Plan, 2nd PM Says

siem reap – In an effort to break a political deadlock, Second Prime Minister Hun Sen said Thursday the CPP now favors, and has King Norodom Sihanouk’s blessing, to form a coalition with Fun­cinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party.

Hun Sen’s pro­posal came just a day after he threatened to try to change the Constitution and form a government alone if Funcinpec continued to re­fuse the election results. He also had declared Wed­nesday that it would be best for Sam Rainsy to remain in opposition, or outside the government.

It was uncertain Thursday evening whether Hun Sen’s softened stance would defuse a possible constitutional crisis caused by a threatened rejection of the election results. Funcinpec and Sam Rainsy, who have cried fraud, both said Thursday that discussions of a coalition are premature.

Meanwhile, confusion reigned Thursday over the way in which parliamentary seats will be allocated. The Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia said the new method would give the CPP 64 seats—or a simple majority—in the 122-seat Nation­al Assembly, compared with an earlier projection of 59 seats.

In either case, the CPP would be far short of the two-thirds majority needed to form a new government on its own.

At a press conference in Siem Reap, Hun Sen said he had in­formed King Sihanouk during a two-hour meeting that he would like to form a government with both Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party.

Hun Sen said the King ap­proved the idea “and would like to see such cooperation in the National Assembly and government.”

Sam Rainsy isn’t needed to form a coalition, Hun Sen said. “But for the sake of the nation’s future, I would like to see Sam Rainsy also to participate,” he said.



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