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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - King’s role in talks up for debate

King’s role in talks up for debate

King Norodom Sihamoni would welcome a role as mediator in talks between the Cambodia National Rescue Party and Cambodian People’s Party, an adviser to the Royal family has said.

Om Daravuth, an adviser to the office of Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, said that the King would oversee any talks between the two parties if requested.

“The King told me, he can be a referee as long as both sides have agreed to ask the King to be the referee and witness,” Daravuth said.

After a group of political analysts called last week for the King to become temporary prime minister until a new election was held, Daravuth said the suggestion was unconstitutional in a letter seen by the Post yesterday.

“If we want to solve the current political crisis, please negotiate between politicians to seek a solution,” he wrote. “It does not need retired politicians or some intellectuals who do not have a clear vision [to tell the King] what to do.

“Please leave [the King and Queen Mother] as symbols of worship for the nation. Do not say anything which is contrary to the constitution.”

Sok Touch, one of several analysts who signed a letter last week requesting the King mediate between the two parties, said yesterday the King had an important political role to play in resolving the dispute.

“Article 8 states that the King is a symbol of national unity. So if the nation has not united, the King must have a role to play to solve the political problem,” he said. “We know the King is not a politician. If the King was a politician we would not need to ask him to be the referee.”

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