Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - King weighs in again

King weighs in again

King Norodom Sihamoni (left) and Prime Minister Hun Sen attend a tree-planting ceremony in Preah Sihanouk province in July
King Norodom Sihamoni (left) and Prime Minister Hun Sen attend a tree-planting ceremony in Preah Sihanouk province in July. STINGER

King weighs in again

King Norodom Sihamoni has called on people to remain calm and allow the dispute over July’s national election to be resolved using the constitution and relevant public institutions – a move some say shows he has sided with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

“History shows us our nation has been divided and suffered a lot as a result. So I would like to call on all people to continue to stay calm and dignified,” Sihamoni wrote in a statement, his second since the election, issued from Beijing on Friday. “Resolution of national issues should be based on the constitution and carried out by relevant institutions under the constitution and law.”

But political analyst Lao Mong Hay said many people had no faith in such institutions and that he believed the King’s statement showed he had sided with the CPP.

“The substance of the letter is in line with the CPP’s strategy of resolving this issue as quickly as possible so they can form the National Assembly and a new government afterwards,” he said, adding the CPP may have asked the King for his support.

“I would like the King to have issued the letter after the final decision of the Constitutional Council and the announcement of the election results.”

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said it was offensive to the King to suggest he had taken sides.

“The King is a representative of unity and peace,” he said. “His statement … reflects the rule of law and the constitution.”

Son Soubert, an adviser to the King, said Sihamoni’s statement was likely a response to the military’s presence on the streets.

“I think it’s because of the presence of the army and armoured vehicles,” he said.

Soubert said the King had been in Beijing since August 12 for medical reasons and would be back “in time for the National Assembly to resume”.

Sihamoni is required to open the first session of the new National Assembly 60 days after the election.


  • Cambodia-Thailand rail reconnected after 45 years

    A railway reconnecting Cambodia and Thailand was officially inaugurated on Monday following a 45-year hiatus, with the two kingdoms’ prime ministers in attendance at the ceremony. On the occasion, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha travelled together from Thailand’s

  • Thousands attend CNRP-organised pro-democracy vigil in South Korea

    Thousands of supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Saturday gathered in the South Korean city of Gwangju to hold a candlelight demonstration calling for the “liberation” of democracy in Cambodia. Yim Sinorn, a CNRP member in South Korea, said on

  • US Embassy: Chinese trade does not help like the West’s

    The US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Friday said relations between China and Cambodia did not create jobs or help industry when compared to the trade between the Kingdom and the US. “About 87 per cent of trade [with China] are Chinese imports, which do not

  • The Christian NGO empowering Cambodian families in Siem Reap

    With its basketball court, football pitch, tennis court and ninja warrior water sports area, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Siem Reap campus of International Christian Fellowship (ICF) Cambodia is a sports centre. But while these free, family-friendly activities are one of the