King Criticizes Lack of Progress in Meetings

King Norodom Sihanouk said Monday he will not attend further meetings of the three main political parties after two meetings last week led to no progress in resolving the government deadlock.

“Even if, one day, the respective leaders of these 3 ‘large’ parties accept to have together a ‘work meeting’ (obviously important and without doubt exciting), they will not see me with them in this meeting and in the following” ones, King Sihanouk wrote in a letter posted on his Web site.

He said certain CPP members had accused him of granting an anti-CPP forum to the “terrible pres­ident of the Sam Rainsy Party and his two big friends,” Fun­cinpec Secretary-General Prince Norodom Sirivudh and royalist parliamentarian Princess Noro­dom Vacheara, at a tripartite meet­ing earlier this month.

Meanwhile, he said, Funcinpec and Sam Rainsy Party politicians “have never made my task easy, [that is] my efforts deployed for the purpose of providing our country a new National Assembly that functions ‘normally’ and a new legal and constitutional” government.

The King has presided over four of the six tripartite meetings held since the July 27 general elections. The parties, however, have not resolved how they will form the new government or As­sembly leadership.

The King said Sunday he no longer wants to be involved in the political dispute and called the three parties “big children.” He also said the continued scheduling of fruitless negotiations “be­gins to tire our good common peo­ple, who console themselves with…my ‘royal singings.’”

The day before, the King wrote a statement calling opposition leader Sam Rainsy, “The Ter­rible.”

The King said he had dubbed Sam Rainsy “The Terrible” after a pal­ace visitor noted that the King had earlier called Prime Minister Hun Sen “The Strongman” and Fun­­cinpec President Prince Nor­o­dom Ranariddh “The Invisible Man.”

In October, King Sihanouk said he would return to Beijing for medical treatment in January and would not be back in Cambodia to help mediate the political dispute until April.


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