The ruling Cambodian People’s Party has invited the opposition to meet and discuss how the two parties could share power and form a government, Cambodia National Rescue Party deputy president Kem Sokha said.
Speaking to about 400 supporters at a voter forum at the party’s Tuol Kork headquarters, Sokha said the CNRP, however, was not interested in a coalition, and would not join a government until “justice is served”.
“The ruling party has invited the [CNRP] to meet and share power in parliament and in government. I would like to promise [voters] that the CNRP will not join with the ruling party. If we join, we would have the same fate as [former CPP coalition partner] Funcinpec,” he said.
“We must find justice for voters first, and only then will we take [our seats] in parliament and form a government.”
CPP spokesman and lawmaker Cheam Yeap rejected Sokha’s claim yesterday evening.
“My party has not sent a message to the [CNRP]. If that party will not join my party [in government], my party will do it alone. The CNRP does not agree with the will of the people who voted for 55 seats for them in parliament,” he said.
Yeap pointed to a 2006 constitutional amendment that stipulates only a 50 per cent-plus-one majority in the National Assembly is needed to form a government.
“You need only 63 seats, and [we] have 68 seats, so there is no problem. There is no political deadlock.”
In his speech yesterday, Sokha emphasised that along with a thorough investigation into election irregularities, the CNRP was requesting that certain political concessions and institutional reforms be made if they are to take their parliamentary seats.
“Promises that [say], come and join first and then [we] will change this and change that, we don’t believe [in such promises].”
He maintained that mass demonstrations were a “last resort”, but added that if forces loyal to the government attacked or shot unarmed supporters in the event of a protest, the International Criminal Court would “take action”.