King Loosing Hope For a Three-Party Gov’t

King Norodom Sihanouk on Tuesday expressed little hope of a new three-party government, as party officials said no tripartite negotiations were imminent.

Since Prime Minister Hun Sen has made it clear he does not want to form a three-party government with the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, “I do not see very well how there can be, at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, tripartite negotiations of CPP-Funcinpec-SRP,” King Sihanouk said in a statement posted on his website.

“Samdech Hun Sen, extremely intelligent, has made his strategies very well. According to these ‘strategies’ he (Hun Sen) can only win on all fronts,” the King added.

If no tripartite government can be formed, the current government led by Hun Sen and the ruling CPP will continue to govern until the 2008 general election, the King said.

“As for Funcinpec, it would have no choice but to be swallowed as a ‘bunny’ by the ‘boa constrictor’ SRP or divide itself,” as a large number of royalist party mem­­bers would join the CPP to hold jobs within the government, he said.

Meanwhile, officials from the Al­liance of Dem­ocrats said no plans were made to hold tripartite talks, despite Fun­cinpec President Prince Norodom Ran­ariddh’s call to reopen negotiations with the CPP.

An invitation from the Alliance to begin such talks this week went unheeded, according to royalist party spokesman Kassie Neou. But he said Funcinpec will stick to its demand for a new three-party government.

Opposition spokes­man Ung Bun-Ang said the Alliance will now wait for a top-level meeting between Prince Ranariddh and Hun Sen.

Although op­po­sition leader Sam Rainsy will not be included in the meeting, “it’s not really a major concern to us because there is a solid and clear understanding between us in the” Alliance, Ung Bun-Ang said.

Before leaving Phnom Penh for Spain last week, Prince Ran­ariddh said he would meet with Hun Sen upon his return. Kassie Neou said he is expected to return next week.

(Additional reporting by Lor Chandara)

 

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