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King calls PM, Rainsy to Saturday meeting

The King yesterday called on Prime Minister Hun Sen and opposition party president Sam Rainsy to attend a meeting to discuss how to resolve the ongoing political deadlock.

In separate letters sent to both the premier and Rainsy yesterday, King Norodom Sihamoni asks that they and two representatives from their parties appear at the Royal Palace at 9am on Saturday.

The men are invited “to join a meeting under my presiding in order to resolve the national issue.”

Analysts have long pointed to the King as a likely broker to ending the deadlock that has dragged on since the election. King Sihamoni returned to the country on Wednesday following nearly a month in Beijing on what palace officials called a routine medical check-up.

Multiple calls to Cambodia National Rescue Party officials went unanswered yesterday, but a representative of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party said they believed the meeting would provide a resolution.

“The meeting which is being convened by the King will resolve the matter,” said senior CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap. “I believe there will be a political compromise for the benefit of the people.”

Earlier this week, shortly after the King announced he would hold the opening session of parliament on September 23, Rainsy intimated that the party could back down from its calls for an election investigation overseen by the UN if the king brokered a solution.

“We will consider any proposals from the King.… We place the will of the Cambodian people higher than anything else. So as long as any solution proposed by the King takes [this] fully into account … we will definitely [consider it],” he told the Post on Tuesday.

Political analyst Kem Ley said he had little doubt the two leaders would come to an arrangement during the meeting.

“Maybe the opposition will occupy some kind of high position in the National Assembly and Prime Minister Hun Sen will agree to reforms, including that of the NEC.”

Hun Sen responded last night that he would attend with Senate Deputy President Say Chhum and Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng.

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