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PM Hun Sen Considers Regime Change

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday warns about the possibility of a regime change if the King has difficulty or refuses to sign Supplemental Border Treaty. The Cambodian Prime Minister said he had talked to Prince Norodom Ranaridh, and told other high ranking officials that if there is a problem in signing the treaty, Cambodia should think about keeping the monarchy or changing it to a republic.

The Prime Minister went on to say the other alternative is to amend the constitution to give the King a definite time to sign or the bill would become a law automatically. He said that there should be a reasonable reason for not signing it if the King does not sign it within two or three days.

PM Hun Sen signed the controversial treaty with Vietnam on October 10. This treaty has to be approved by the cabinet, ratified by both the National Assembly and the Senate, and signed by the King to become a law.

King Sihamoni has not said whether or not he will sign it, but former King Sihanouk said his son will go to Beijing and let the acting Head of State sign it according to his conscience. The border experts, the civil societies, and some politicians interpret the former King's comments as not supporting the treaty.

Mr. Hun Sen said this process should depend on the National Assembly, and that once this entity signs it, it should be final.

National Assembly president Norodom Ranariddh, and also president of Funcinpec party, and the general secretary of the Sam Rainsy party, Eng Chhay Eang, cannot be reached for comments.

Son Chhay, Sam Rainsy party's member of parliament said the border issue is a national issue and Mr. Hun Sen should not decide alone. He adds that the prime minister should ask for another meeting of the countries that signed the 1991 Paris Agreement. He said that if the King refuses to sign this treaty, and Mr. Hun Sen wants to change the regime, it is a serious problem, and the Prime Minister should be responsible for his action.