Sam Rainsy Says King Will Mediate if Asked

King Norodom Sihanouk has promised to intervene and help settle the election-related impasse between the CPP, Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party if the three parties cannot come to an agreement on forming a government, opposition party leader Sam Rainsy said Sunday.

The King met with Sam Rainsy Saturday at the Royal Palace, the opposition leader said. It was during this meeting that the King told Sam Rainsy that he would host a tripartite meeting between the three major parties.

“If the three parties can agree to solving an election deadlock, then the King will not intervene,” Sam Rainsy said. “But if there is a deadlock, and if the three political parties request his help, then the King will try to help the three parties find a solution.”

On Thursday, the King stated in a letter that he would not intervene in any election matters. He also wrote that he would not discuss politics with Sam Rainsy at the Saturday meeting.

Sam Rainsy said the King gave no indication how he would settle any election dispute, only that the King would host a meeting at the Royal Palace within 24 hours after the three parties approached him.

Sam Rainsy said the King “knows that the National Assem­bly must meet within 60 days af­ter the election results are made official, and if before that date the three parties find a solution [the King] will not intervene.”

Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party agreed last week not to join any coalition with the ruling CPP unless Prime Minister Hun Sen is replaced.

The parties also rejected initial election results that show the CPP winning 73 seats, Fun­cinpec taking 26 seats and the Sam Rainsy Party receiving 24 seats.

Last week, the opposition party proposed a major reshuffling of the top government positions. In the proposal CPP President Chea Sim would become prime minister with Hun Sen replacing Prince Norodom Ranariddh as president of the Assembly. In addition, Sam Rainsy would take over as deputy prime minister and Prince Ranariddh would replace Chea Sim as the Senate president and would be acting head of state whenever the King leaves Cambodia.

This proposal was not discussed when Sam Rainsy met with the King, the opposition leader said.

“The King did not mention, elaborate or analyze the election,” Sam Rainsy said.

Meak Sam Phorn, Royal Palace Cabinet chief, could not confirm on Sunday that this meeting took place.

(Additional reporting by Yun Samean)


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