Party presidents Prince Norodom Ranariddh and Sam Rainsy have sent a letter to Philippine Foreign Secretary Domingo Siazon, slamming him for suggesting political leaders would be “immoral or irresponsible” if they failed to form a government.
In a letter dated Tuesday, the Funcinpec and Sam Rainsy Party presidents said Siazon must be alluding to Second Prime Mini-ster Hun Sen.
“We assume that you are referring to Mr Hun Sen, for if we opposition leaders were indeed immoral then we would accept the undemocratic outcome that the ruling party has engineered.”
Siazon on Saturday was quoted as saying, “I think it would be highly immoral or irresponsible for the political leaders of Cambodia not to form a government only because of their individual ambitions.”
In a separate Funcinpec press release Tuesday, the party said it “deplores the above statement made by Mr Domingo Siazon who seems not to fully grasp all the realities that faced the Cambodian people in the electoral environment of the July 26, 1998, general elections.”
Siazon’s comments came as international pressure mounted for the opposition parties to enter a coalition with the CPP.
In a letter to King Norodom Sihanouk released Sunday, French President Jacques Chirac praised the electoral process and said, “It is today essential that the country’s main political forces work in respect of the will expressed by the Cambodian people.”
Former Untac chief Yasushi Akashi, speaking Sunday to reporters in Singapore, made similar remarks. “I hope efforts for making a coalition government may contribute to greater stability in that country,” he said.
Funcinpec said it was too early to form a coalition government since the official results have not been released. “The Funcinpec Party has never reneged its commitment to honor the will of the people,” the party statement said, adding that the CPP did not recognize election results in 1993 and threatened fighting if it was not allowed to share power.