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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hopes dim for any resolution to political stalemate

Hopes dim for any resolution to political stalemate

Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) have rejected further negotiations to form

a new government with the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP), following the shooting

death of pro-Funcinpec radio journalist Chuor Chetharith earlier in the week. They

gave no date when progress might resume.

The political deadlock has postponed ratification of a new government for at least

three months since the elections in July.

Funcinpec and SRP, cooperating as the Alliance of Democrats, announced they would

continue to boycott any negotiations, during a press conference at the Sunway Hotel

on October 23.

They would not say whether the Alliance of Democrats had accepted a political scenario

for a new government proposed by the King on October 18 .

In a public declaration, the King outlined a scenario for the formation of a new

government with Hun Sen as Prime Minister, as long as the CPP divided influential

positions between Funcinpec and SRP. The King suggested Funcinpec President Prince

Norodom Ranariddh and Chea Sim, chairman of the CPP, assume positions as either leader

of the National Assembly or the Senate.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy was proposed to become either vice-president of the

National Assembly or deputy prime minister in the new government. The King wrote

that the three parties should distribute lower-ranking positions among themselves.

He admonished the CPP, Funcinpec and SRP about the stalemate and directed them to

make sacrifices to end it.

"If Samdech Hun Sen insists on denying the formation of a new government with

the three political parties, I believe that this will be a major obstacle preventing

the resolution of the present political crisis," the King wrote.

The King has yet to set a date for further negotiations.

Rainsy and Prince Norodom Sirivudh, secretary general of Funcinpec, told reporters

at the October 23 press conference that they did not know how long the boycott would

last.

"We are waiting to monitor the political environment in the next several weeks,"

said Rainsy. "The political negotiation can not proceed under threat."

On October 14, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the political deadlock would end

only after a party decided to join a coalition government with the CPP. He said that

situation could continue until 2008 because no deadline existed for the current government.

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