Second Prime Minister Hun Sen vowed Tuesday not to cling to power if his party loses the national elections, and promised that his Cambodian People’s Party will form a coalition government even if it wins the polls outright.
“If the CPP wins, we will share power, but if we lose, we will transfer the power,” Hun Sen told reporters after inaugurating a development center for widows and children in Phnom Penh. “Please don’t worry.”
After losing the 1993 election to the royalist party Funcinpec, the CPP managed to force a coalition government after threatening a secessionist movement if excluded from power.
Also Tuesday, Hun Sen voiced his support for the continuation of the monarchy, but hinted he would revive a campaign to bar members of the royal family from standing for political office.
“The future of the monarchy will be continued. We want the constitutional monarchy,” he said in response to a question.
But Hun Sen said the question of whether royals should be allowed to stand for political office is still an unsettled issue.
“The continuity of the monarchy and the participation of the royal family in politics are different issues,” he said. “We will talk about this later.”
The sensitive issue of royal participation in politics surfaced in the form of a legislative petition last November, calling for all royal family members to be barred from political office.
Hun Sen said at the time he believed the petition, signed by 27 parliamentarians, deserved “thorough consideration.”
Analysts said the petition was a clear attempt to keep Prince Norodom Ranariddh out of politics by barring him for running in forthcoming elections. The petition failed to make it to the National Assembly floor due to the absence of a Constitutional Council to rule on the constitutional changes required for such a law.