Prince Warns Against Rainsy-CPP Coalition

kampot town – Prince Norodom Ranariddh expressed concern Wednesday that he could be left out in the cold by his main opposition ally if his party fails to win an outright election victory.

“What I am afraid of is it will be a coalition between Sam Rainsy and the CPP,” the prince told re­porters after a campaign address to about 4,000 supporters.

“If I need the two-thirds majority I don’t have any problem forming a coalition with Sam Rainsy. My problem is with Sam Rainsy himself, because he is very critical of me, he says I am a weak leader.”

As the prince noted, Second Prime Minister Hun Sen has already rejected the notion of going into a second coalition with a Ranariddh-led Funcinpec, but he has not ruled out pairing up with Sam Rainsy, despite the latter’s constant criticism.

The prince then led his supporters through a spot of voter education, using a ballot sheet to demonstrate which box to tick.

“If you love peace, which party should you vote for?” he asked the crowd. “Funcinpec!” they shouted back. “What number?” he asked, pointing to the ballot. “Thirty-four!” the crowd replied.

Prince Ra­na­riddh once again denied allegations that he is building up an illegal armed force to contest the outcome of the election, charging that Hun Sen poses a greater threat to the country’s security.

“Because I don’t want to cause problems before the elections, I don’t raise the question of Hun Sen’s illegal forces in Cam­bo­dia…in particular those ones which participated in the coup d’etat,” the prince said.

“The most dangerous period for Cambodia is after the elections,” he warned. “Hun Sen is al­ready willing to reject any results which are negative for the CPP.”

Hun Sen said last week he would re­stage the polls if he did not believe they were free and fair. But Prince Ranariddh dismissed the suggestion, saying that any irregularity in the polls would be the fault of the CPP and not of the opposition.

And he warned his rival against trying to use the private army allegation to disqualify Funcinpec after the vote, saying the international community would never accept such a move.


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