Hun Sen warns opposition not to boycott swearing-in of parliament
PRIME Minister Hun Sen issued a stern warning to opposition parties Monday, saying that if they go ahead with a planned boycott of the swearing-in of the National Assembly their salaries will be cut off and they will lose their positions in the legislative body.
"If they ignore the swearing in, then they will not get paid," Hun Sen told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after a meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte.
"In Cambodia the winning party cannot be held hostage by the losing party. If they join the swearing-in or not it is up to them, but the ruling party will go ahead."
Hun Sen said he was unsure why the opposition had decided not to recognise the results of the July 27 polls and emphasised that he did not want them to throw their parliamentary seats away. He added that his Cambodian People's Party is actively seeking replacement candidates to take the opposition's slots in the Assembly's nine commissions.
"They cannot order the King to [hold a separate ceremony for them ... the National Assembly has never been sworn in twice," Hun Sen said.
Sam Rainsy Party Deputy Secretary General Mu Sochua said the opposition was not concerned by Hun Sen's warning.
"We [will still] boycott and we are not concerned about the threat," Mu Sochua told the Post.
"If the CPP's aim is to take our seats then, please, take control of 116 of the total 123 seats in the National Assembly [and] it will be the CPP's National Assembly," she said, referring to the number of seats the CPP would hold if it confiscated the SRP's 26.
On Friday, Sam Rainsy Party lawmakers wrote to King Norodom Sihamoni requesting a separate swearing- in ceremony.