Accessibility links

Breaking News

Three Parties Maintain Government Boycott

The newly elected members of three parties in opposition to the ruling coalition will not swear in later this month, preventing the formation of the National Assembly and retaining a deadlock in the new government, leaders said Friday.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who held a press conference with the leaders of the Human Rights and Norodom Ranariddh parties at his Phnom Penh headquarters Friday, continued to contest the results of last month's national election.

Lawmakers of the three parties will not swear in on Aug. 24, he told reporters.

The three parties together represent an estimated 31 parliamentary seats, with the CPP holding 90 and its partner, Funcinpec, holding two.

"The first meeting on the 24th cannot happen, because we refuse the election results," Sam Rainsy said.

"My party's stance is the same as the Sam Rainsy and Norodom Ranariddh parties," Keat Sokhun, vice president of the Human Rights Party, said. "We will not go to the meeting if there is no solution to complaints from people who could not vote."

NRP spokesman Muth Chantha said the "boycott" of the meeting did not mean the parties had abandoned their seats.

"What we want is for the National Election Committee to respect the will of the people who could not vote, about 1 million [of them]," he said.

The vow to deadlock the government came as the ruling Cambodian People's Party swore to push toward establishing the government by Aug. 26.

"The government will be set up on Aug. 26, after the National Assembly opens its first full session on Aug. 24," CPP spokesman Khieu Kanharith told reporters Friday. "The new cabinet will be bigger than the last cabinet."

CPP officials maintain they can establish a government without swearing in all newly elected members, a claim disputed by constitutional and election law experts.