Sam Rainsy, F’pec Leaders Meet in Bangkok

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy and Prince Norodom Sirivudh, Funcinpec’s secretary-general, left Phnom Penh for Bangkok on Tuesday to discuss with Fun­cin­pec President Prince Noro­dom Rana­riddh the possibility of re­starting talks with the CPP to form a new government.

Sam Rainsy left early in the morning, and was followed later by Prince Sirivudh.

“We will discuss to seek solution to solve the political standoff for the nation,” Sam Rainsy told reporters before boarding his flight. “I always hope to solve the political deadlock. I will always try to find a solution.”

On Monday, Sam Rainsy launched a criminal complaint against Prime Minister Hun Sen, alleging the premier masterminded the 1997 grenade attack on an opposition rally that killed at least 13 people. It counters a defamation suit that Hun Sen launched against Sam Rainsy last week af­ter the opposition leader claimed the CPP was responsible for the Jan 22 killing of union leader Chea Vichea.

The legal exchange has prompt­ed skepticism among some political analysts about a swift resolution to the months-long government deadlock.

On Tuesday, Sam Rainsy reiterated the opposition and Fun­cinpec’s Alliance of Democrats is standing firm on its demand for a three-party government, despite re­newed calls from the CPP for a two-party coalition.

Funcinpec spokesman Kassie Neou said the Alliance is waiting for the CPP to restart talks. “We have sent them our proposal. We are waiting for them,” he said.

But CPP spokesman Khieu Kanharith said Tuesday the ruling party never received such a pro­posal. He said the CPP will wait for the two parties to determine how they will share governmental positions before tripartite talks resume.

Alliance officials said Sam Rainsy and Prince Sirivudh would re­turn today or Thursday. Kassie Neou said Prince Ranariddh will re­turn to Phnom Penh Thursday evening. He left Cambodia in early November.


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