Opposition Official Confident Despite Standoff

Sam Rainsy Party spokesman Ung Bun-Ang on Tuesday urged people not to worry about the post-election political standoff, saying he was “strongly optimistic” the disputes between the CPP, the Sam Rainsy Party and Funcinpec can be resolved be­fore the first National Assem­bly meeting.

“So far, Cambodian people should not be worried about the cur­rent situation,” Ung Bun-Ang said. “We have all po­lit­ical­­ly matured and will not use violence to solve the political problems.”

Ung Bun-Ang said he was confident the parties would be­gin negotiations before the Sept 27 deadline to convene the new Assembly.

However, officials from the Alliance of Democrats, a union between Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party, said Tuesday they are no closer to beginning official talks with the CPP on forming a new government.

Although CPP officials have refused to negotiate with the Al­liance, Ung Bun-Ang re­peated Tuesday that Funcinpec and Sam Rainsy Party representatives would not meet individually with the CPP. He and Funcinpec spokes­man Kassie Neou denied their respective parties had begun un­official talks with the CPP.

The CPP won 73 of the 123 Assembly seats in the July 27 gen­eral election, nine fewer than it needs to form a government on its own.

Ung Bun-Ang said Funcinpec and Sam Rainsy Party officials were drawing up documents and procedures ahead of talks with the CPP. Alliance officials also said they were trying to keep their members abreast of the la­test developments. Despite joining together as the Alliance early last month, Funcinpec and Sam Rainsy Party officials said Mon­day that party members at the commune and district levels may not yet be aware of their union.

“Only higher leaders in Phnom Penh know, but lower members in the provinces do not know if it is true or not,” Sam Rainsy Party Senator Ou Bunlong said. He said officials were in the process of informing lower-level members.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Fun­cinpec Secretary-General Prince Norodom Sirivudh and opposition party leader Sam Rainsy met with US diplomats and members of the Cambodian community in Washington to rally international support for the Alliance.

In comments broadcast on Ra­dio Free Asia on Monday night, the two leaders said they would con­tinue to work together.

(Ad­ditional reporting by Thet Sambath and Nhem Chea Bunly)


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