Prime Minister Hun Sen and opposition leader Sam Rainsy had
a brief exchange over the deadlocked government Friday, as they waited for
former king Norodom Sihanouk to leave the country.
Prime Minister Hun Sen told opposition leader Sam Rainsy
Friday if the opposition party does not attend a swearing-in ceremony for the
new government later this month, the ruling party would divide the party's 26
parliamentary seats among all the other parties.
The National Assembly swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for
Aug. 24, but constitutional experts say competing parties can maintain a
governmental deadlock by not attending.
Hun Sen made his remarks to Sam Rainsy at Phnom Penh International Airport, as they waited for former
king Norodom Sihanouk, former queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, King Norodom
Sihamoni and a royal entourage to depart for Beijing Friday morning.
The two spoke in full view of reporters and high-ranking
political officials from several parties.
"I don't care if you deny the election results or not,"
Hun Sen said. "What I said is that on the 24th, whether you
attend the swearing-in ceremony or not, I don't care. If you don't attend the
swearing-in ceremony, you will have invalidated 26 seats, and we will divide
them to other parties."
"I have 2 million votes," Sam Rainsy said.
"Yes, you mention 2 million votes," Hun Sen
replied, shaking his finger at his long-time political opponent, "but if you
don't attend the swearing-in ceremony, if you want to know, you
will see," a Khmer
expression that means, "If you don't believe me, wait and see."
Contacted at his party headquarters later Friday evening,
Sam Rainsy declined to comment on the exchange.
"I'm worrying about the number of people who could not
vote [Sunday]," he said. "We deny the result of the election. I don't
care what Hun Sen said."