PM Blasts F’pec But Says It Will Remain in Gov’t

In his first public speech since June, Prime Minister Hun Sen roar­ed out of the starting gate Wednes­day, blasting coalition partner Fun­cinpec and announcing that two other political parties are seeking to join his new government.

Hun Sen also announced that after his newly elected government is officially formed, Funcinpec will continue as a CPP coalition partner and be given 50 to 60 government positions.

Apparently alluding to the Hu­man Rights Party and the Noro­dom Ranariddh Party, Hun Sen said that a party with three projected parliamentary seats and another with two, had asked to join his soon-to-be-formed government.

However, representatives of the HRP and NRP denied Wed­nesday that their parties had any intention of joining the CPP’s co­alition government.

“He wants one assembly commission while he has only three seats,” Hun Sen said in his speech, in apparent reference to HRP Pres­ident Kem Sokha, whose party won three projected seats in last month’s election.

“They are complaining while they are wanting to join with the government,” Hun Sen added.

“And there was another group that contacted me [Tuesday], asking me whether the prime minister needs members to join the government. I have many people. They only have two [seats],” he said, in an apparent reference to the NRP.

Kem Sokha could not be contacted for comment, but the Vice President of the HRP Board of Dir­ectors, Keat Sokhun, said his party has expressed no interest in forming a coalition with the CPP.

“Maybe Hun Sen said it to himself,” he said by telephone.

NRP spokesman Muth Chann­tha also denied that his party had com­municated with the prime minister about a possible coalition.

“There is no such policy,” he said.

SRP President Sam Rainsy said by telephone that Hun Sen’s claims were an attempt to divide the SRP, HRP and NRP, and denied that any of the parties would join with the CPP.

“Hun Sen wants to split the unity among the three political parties,” he said. “Please do not believe—this is political warfare.”

“For me, I do not change and other democrats do not sell out themselves. No one would sell out,” he said.

Hun Sen also said in his speech in Kompong Speu on Wednesday that he would request that King Norodom Sihamoni grant amnes­ty to NRP President Prince Noro­dom Ranariddh, provided that the prince return to Cambodia and serve 12 months of his 18-month prison sentence.

The Supreme Court on July 30 upheld Prince Ranariddh’s 18-month prison sentence, handed down by the Phnom Penh Munici­pal Court in March 2007 in a breach of trust case filed by Funcin­pec last year.

“Those who are convicted, they must spend two-thirds [of their time in prison],” Hun Sen said. “You [Prince Ranariddh] are not imprisoned yet.”

Hun Sen then turned his focus on Funcinpec President Keo Puth Rasmey, criticizing him for ordering a senior party member to sign a statement, along with the SRP, NRP and HRP, that called for a re­jection of the July 29 election result.

“I want to slap Funcinpec in its face,” Hun Sen said. “Our partner have also cursed us—you shook hands with the opposition parties.”

The prime minister then softened his tone and pointed to a di­vide within the royalist party.

“Funcinpec is [still] a partner of the coalition government, even though a small group of the Fun­cinpec leaders made a mistake that I almost couldn’t forgive,” Hun Sen said, adding that the offending statement was the work of “an evil alliance.”

Hun Sen then announced that Funcinpec Secretary-General Nhiek Bun Chhay will hold his pos­ition as deputy prime minister and that Funcinpec officials Kol Pheng, Veng Sereyvuth, Sun Chanthol and Nuth Sokhom will hold positions as senior ministers.

“We allow 50 to 60 [Funcinpec officials] in the government,” he said.

Related Stories

Latest News