Prime Minister Hun Sen said this afternoon he would “welcome” an investigation into the contested results of Sunday’s election.
The remarks, his first public comments since the election, came after opposition leader Sam Rainsy announced the party had done far better than the preliminary government results had suggested and called for the premier to step down.
“For the sake of free and fair elections, I welcome NGOs, all political parties and the NEC to investigate this,” he told reporters, while speaking to workers at the construction site of a flyover in Stung Meanchey.
The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has called for a joint committee made up of representatives of all parties and international monitors to review the results of Sunday’s election, which gave the ruling Cambodian People’s Party 68 seats to the CNRP’s 55.
The government had previously shot down such a proposal.
Hun Sen also said he would be happy to speak with Rainsy, saying “the CPP had an open heart to talk to the CNRP.”
Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay said yesterday the premier's endorsement of such an investigation was a good step but that the CNRP were not interested in negotiating with the CPP until the probe had been completed.
"I think this is what we want, we need to have a proper investigation on this election to find justice for the people before any political deal can be made so I think if he agreed that is a good sign," he said.
Son Chhay stressed that Hun Sen could not ignore the findings of such an investigation if they did not suit him, as he had done in other cases such as the findings of United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia, Surya Subedi.
"If they find that he lost the election because of all the fraud he made, he must respect the finding," he said.
Shooting down rumours that he had fled, Hun Sen also stressed this afternoon that he would not “leave the country when my people are suffering” and said that no one from the party had fired him from the position of premier.