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They beg to differ: Minister’s take on meet ‘exaggerated’

They beg to differ: Minister’s take on meet ‘exaggerated’

Public comments made by a senior CPP official were intended to provoke, the opposition said yesterday in a statement slamming claims made a day earlier by Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith.

On Saturday, Kanharith, who is also a CPP spokesman, told reporters that a meeting was held between parties to resolve political deadlock over “division within the parliament, [including] what commissions the opposition could chair”.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, which has previously said the meeting was specifically to discuss the creation of a committee to investigate election irregularities, sought to clarify the situation, calling the comments “completely exaggerated”.

“[They were for] provocation and political gain. The CNRP would like the leader of the Cambodian People’s Party to advise Khieu Kanharith to make a correction for what is not a fact,” it reads.

The comments from Kanharith, which were given as responses to questions from reporters following a graduation ceremony, were reported on local news website Deum Ampil as discussions of “power sharing”.

Though official results have not yet been released, both the CNRP and CPP have remained adamant that there will be no coalition. Indeed, in Kanharith’s statement he stressed that “so far there is no plan to form a coalition government with the opposition”.

Yesterday, Kanharith defended his statements and said he had no intention to retract them.

“I didn’t make any mistake in my comments or mislead anybody,” he said. “I said when we talked, we only talked about power sharing in the National Assembly, not government power sharing.”

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