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Prime Minister Hun Sen and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung
Prime Minister Hun Sen and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung attend a groundbreaking ceremony for a bridge project in Kandal province yesterday. STRINGER

I will not resign: premier

Prime Minister Hun Sen dismissed opposition supporters’ calls for him to step down yesterday during a speech at the inauguration ceremony of the Chrey Thom-Long Ben bridge in Kandal province.

The ceremony was also attended by Hun Sen’s Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Tan Dung, who concluded a three-day visit to the country yesterday.

“I am legally elected to the National Assembly by the people, and from the assembly I have a legal royal decree from the respected King [Norodom Sihamoni],” he said.

“I should resign? That’s impossible. It is highly unlikely. It is not that easy. I got [elected] through the constitution, so I will go down through the constitution,” he added.

The premier went on to speak about the Vietnamese offensive to remove the Khmer Rouge in 1979, a topic he spoke at length about a day prior at the opening of a new Vietnamese hospital.

“After liberation, what did we have? Pol Pot took everything and we still survived when it was difficult during the famine. Now we can wear ties,” he said.

Yim Sovann, a senior opposition lawmaker, yesterday reiterated the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s position that the current government is illegitimate.

“The illegal government is convening the National Assembly without the CNRP. And all 68 members who formed the National Assembly … the government is wrong and unconstitutional,” he said.

But political analyst Sok Touch called for dialogue between the parties to resolve the current deadlock.

“If politicians do not come to settle the political stalemate, Cambodia will have a deep crisis,” he said. “As you can see, the Paris Peace Accord was signed because of what? It was because they tolerated one another.

“Now, they should not talk about the constitution, they should think about national reconciliation and if it will be accepted by all the parties” he added.

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