Hun Sen Renews Vow To Keep Post

Prime Minister Hun Sen re­peated Monday that he is entitled to remain prime minister since the CPP received the most votes in the July 27 general elections.

“I am the winner of the election…. If the election winner is always dismissed, please encourage the country to not have elections,” he said during a graduation ceremony at the Royal Admin­istration School.

On Saturday, King Norodom Sihanouk expressed his support for Hun Sen’s continued premiership and urged the other two parties to accept him as well.

Sam Rainsy Party Senator Ou Bunlong Monday said the Alliance of Democrats had agreed to accept Hun Sen’s nomination for the position. But the Alliance has said it cannot guarantee Hun Sen will receive the two-thirds vote required to retain his post as prime minister.

Ou Bunlong added that though no specific date had been scheduled, he expected the next tripartite meeting would occur sometime after Jan 7.

Hun Sen also said Monday that he was urging French Ambassa­dor Yvon Roe d’Albert to educate French Cambodians about “the law,” pointing out that Khmer Rouge leaders Pol Pot, Khieu Samphan and Son Sen had all studied in France.

“I wonder that all those people are from France. Please Excell­ency, Ambassador, call these French men to the Embassy to educate them about the law,” Hun Sen said.

Hun Sen added that some people who received French schooling tended to be “extremist.”

“I do not know how France has educated them,” he said. “Please help correct France’s schools. But it is not France’s fault or the school’s fault but the fault of the individual.”

The comments appeared to be a veiled insult to opposition leader Sam Rainsy and Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh, both of whom were educated in France, though the premier did not mention them by name.

Funcinpec Deputy Secretary-General Ok Socheat defended French-educated Cambodians, including his party’s president.

“They are not extremists,” he said, countering Hun Sen’s statements with criticisms of his own. “He has violated us for many years.”

The political dispute between the three main parties has dragged on for about five months with no resolution on how to form the new government and National Assembly.

In recent weeks, members of the Sam Rainsy Party and Funcinpec’s Alliance of Demo­crats have called the CPP’s proposal to hold a simultaneous parliamentary vote on government and Assembly leadership

positions “unconstitutional,”

saying parliament must approve Assem­bly positions first.

The CPP has insisted its plan is lawful.

In his speech, Hun Sen said he recently met with Funcinpec Deputy Secretary-General Nhiek Bun Chhay, who delivered him some conditions that the Alliance required for resolving the deadlock.

The Alliance has maintained it must hammer out the political platform of the new government ahead of any negotiations on

government and legislative positions.

The premier said that during his meeting with Nhiek Bun Chhay, he approved of some points which he found acceptable, and rejected those that he found unacceptable. But he did not elaborate.

Nhiek Bun Chhay could not be reached for comment on Mon­day.

Related Stories

Latest News

The Weekly DispatchA weekly newsletter from The Cambodia Daily delivering news, analysis and opinion to your inbox. Published every Friday at 11:30am. Sign up today.