King Norodom Sihanouk on Sunday blasted the three main political parties and warned they would be “condemned by history” if they failed to reach an agreement at Wednesday’s meeting aimed at resolving the government deadlock.
Public opinion of the parties is already declining, he said.
“Excuse my frankness: Your incessant political maneuvers and counter-maneuvers, your rhetoric so brilliant it is, your threats and counter-threats no longer impress anyone and torments all the world,” the King said in a 13-page handwritten statement. “I dare to tell you that fewer and fewer Khmers and foreigners value you and admire you,” he added.
The three parties are expected to meet together with the King at the Royal Palace on Wednesday morning for the first time since the July 27 general election.
The King said he would not offer any suggestions on forming the new government and National Assembly, which has been delayed by the three-month impasse.
“You are no longer ‘children,’” he said.
The King’s statement followed a message posted on his Web site Thursday, saying he would convene a new meeting in December if Wednesday’s meeting resulted in failure.
He said he would not be able to convene another meeting until April, as he plans to visit Beijing in January for medical treatment.
He added that at his age, “one can die one day or another, even [if] apparently ‘in good health.’”
If he were to die before the formation of the new government, Prime Minister Hun Sen would be “sole commander aboard the ship Kampuchea” as the election procedure for the throne has not yet been established.
King Sihanouk turned 81 on Friday.
Although the CPP won the July election with 73 seats in the Assembly, it is nine seats short of governing alone.
But Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party, which joined together as the Alliance of Democrats, have refused to join a coalition with the CPP unless a tripartite government is formed without Hun Sen as prime minister. The CPP has rejected such conditions.
Meanwhile on Sunday, at a ceremony at the Sam Rainsy Party headquarters commemorating the party’s eighth anniversary, the opposition leader said he would not support the appointment of new government positions unless the incumbent CPP agrees to fulfill a long list of demands.
That list includes putting an end to poverty, deforestation, illegal immigration, unemployment and corruption, as well as increasing civil servants’ salaries and improving the court system.
However, Sam Rainsy said he was optimistic about Wednesday’s meeting.
“All matters have a resolution,” he said.
Funcinpec Secretary-General Prince Norodom Sirivudh, who also was present at the ceremony, added that the royalists were ready to attend the negotiations, but would await a suggestion from the King on how to resolve the deadlock.
In a joint statement on Sunday, 10 civic groups urged the parties to consider a list of proposals, including limiting the prime minister’s term to 10 years.
The organizations—including the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, and the human rights groups Licadho and Adhoc—also suggested the adoption of an anti-corruption law and an amendment to discourage party affiliations within the national police, military police and RCAF. The groups said they wanted more transparency in the governing of the country and urged the parties to put the country’s interests ahead of their own.
“People voted for a party, hoping to help peoples’ interests, not the personal or party’s interest,” said Adhoc President Thun Saray.