Prime Minister Hun Sen said Monday he will not negotiate with opposition leader Sam Rainsy over the formation of a new government, reigniting hostilities between the CPP and the opposition party.
Any talks between the two parties will have to go through Funcinpec, Hun Sen said.
“He [Sam Rainsy] can join [the government] under someone else’s trousers. I don’t talk with him,” Hun Sen said at a bridge construction ceremony in Kompong Cham province broadcast on Apsara Radio.
Also referring to Sam Rainsy, he added: “The one who doesn’t like Hun Sen right now is under someone’s sole.”
His remarks were met with outrage from Sam Rainsy Party Secretary-General Eng Chhay Eang, who accused the premier of trying to split Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party’s Alliance of Democrats. “This is a trap,” Eng Chhay Eang said. “They know that if Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party work together, they cannot defeat us.”
The Sam Rainsy Party last week agreed to a deal made earlier this month between Hun Sen and Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh that allows Funcinpec to share some of its positions in the new government with the opposition.
In recent months, the CPP has said it would only accept a two-party coalition in the new government. Funcinpec spokesman Kassie Neou declined to comment Monday.
On Sunday, CPP and Funcinpec officials met in private but reached no agreement on ending the deadlock, which has dragged on for more than eight months
During his speech Monday, Hun Sen remained cagey about when a new government might be formed. “I don’t like to guess because there is too much bargaining,” he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng expressed hope that a deal could be made before the Khmer New Year, now only weeks away.
“If a new government is formed before the New Year, it will be excellent for Cambodia,” Sar Kheng said during a ceremony Monday in Banteay Meanchey province.