King Offers Options for Breaking Stalemate

King Norodom Sihanouk issued a statement Sunday de­scribing six potential scenarios for ending the current government crisis.

For the purpose of the statement he presented himself as if he had revived his former career as a filmmaker and the political deadlock was a movie he had to imagine. He also noted as a re­minder that he did not have “any right to mix in the political affairs” of the three major parties.

The scenarios are more a variation of means than ends, as most conclude with Prime Minister Hun Sen continuing as premier and the Alliance of Democrats in disgrace.

In the King’s first scenario, the Alliance insists “until the end” that Hun Sen is not prime minister. Their stubbornness results in the loss of face and credibility and, eventually, the loss of As­sembly seats in the 2008 general elections.

In another situation, he imagines the CPP will use its re­sources to “‘buy’ the necessary number of non-CPP deputies to achieve the two-thirds of ‘voices’ necessary to forming a new Royal Cambodian Government.”

A third suggests that the Al­liance will not be able to persuade the “friends and allies” in Europe and the US to help their cause since leaders like US Pres­ident George W Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair are too busy with international crises in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Even worse would be for the Alliance to cave in and join Hun Sen’s government, hoping “our strongman” will deign to appoint Funcinpec President Prince Nor­o­dom Ranariddh president of the Senate, the King wrote.

Joining a three-party coalition would be to “plunge the Royal Government of Cambodia into the black water of the dictator’s pool,” the King wrote.

The best chance for the Alli­ance of Democrats would be to appear strong at the convening of the National Assembly and to oppose the CPP, the King wrote.


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