Lawmaker: CPP Violated Coalition Deal

Senior Funcinpec lawmaker Monh Saphan on Thursday ac­cused the CPP of breaching its coa­li­tion agreement with the royalists by removing the party’s co-ministers of interior and defense on March 2.

According to a copy of the 2004 coalition agreement, signed at the end of the nearly year-long political deadlock that followed the July 2003 elections, royalist officials cannot be promoted or demoted without the consent of Funcinpec Presi­dent Prince Norodom Ranariddh.

“They complied with the agreement only by mouth, but in reality they don’t comply,” Monh Saphan said of the removal of co-minister of defense Nhiek Bun Chhay and co-minister of interior Prince Noro­dom Sirivudh, who were dismissed by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Government spokesman and Information Minister Khieu Kan­harith responded that the CPP is still adhering to the deal.

“Those people who said [the CPP breached the agreement], they wanted to split the CPP from Fun­cinpec,” he said.

Hun Sen also said Thursday that the alliance remained strong, and urged Funcinpec officials in the gov­ernment to keep working and not to worry.

“[Funcinpec] ministers and dep­uty ministers, continue efficiently in government,” he said at a ceremony in Banteay Meanchey province and broadcast on radio.

“This is not the elimination of the al­liance between the CPP and Fun­cinpec Party that work in the coalition government. This is a political issue, there is nothing to worry about,” he said.

On Sunday, Prince Ranariddh urged his party to remain loyal to the coalition agreement.

“The Funcinpec party strongly respects the agreement…. This is the legal document that I insist Fun­cinpec officials, from the top to the group level, respect and do not be­tray,” he said.

Hang Puthea, director of the Neu­­tral and Impartial Committee for Free Elections in Cambodia, said he believed the CPP has breach­ed the agreement.

“This will create an environment of mistrust” between the parties, he said.


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