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PM Hun Sen Comments on Partnership with FUNCINPEC and Other Parties

Prime Minister Hun Sen announces on Monday that the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) will not abandon the royalist FUNCINPEC, its partner in the coalition government for the past three terms, after the constitution amendment to open way for the formation of the government by adopting the 50% plus one formula.

Mr. Hun Sen's allegation happens after different comments were made and which led to the confusion that the CPP will abandon the FUNCINPEC party, and embrace the opposion Sam Rainsy party (SRP) instead.

There are also strong criticisms about the FUNCINPEC party led by Prince

Norodom Ranaridh, on the appointment of unqualified ministers for government's positions which makes the ruling CPP weak, and the disapproval of the FUNCINPEC's appointment of ministers for government's positions, and the warning to the cabinet which does not work hard.

Mr. Hun Sen makes the comments at the ground breaking ceremony for the information center of the Angkor Hospital for Children in Siemreap that, the ministers, the governors and deputy governors of the CPP and the FUNCINPEC party will work together, but the constitutional amendment from adopting 2/3 majority to 50% plus one vote formula for the next terms is to avoid political deadlock after the elections.

Mr. Hun Sen says that the alliance will not change, and he will gather force to consolidate, for national construction.

SRP legislator Keo Remy supports the idea of changing inactive ministers, but there should not be any political reason behind it. He says that the political aspect should not change, and that a minister who does not bow to the CPP should not be removed by using this idea of change, which will not work.

Human Rights's organization Licadho's director Pung Chhiv Kek says that the civil societies want to see the presence of an opposition party to monitor the government's activities.

She says that if all the political parties agree to work together, the civil societies will not oppose that, but they do not want them to have conflict like in the past, but they do wish to have an opposition party that can talk with the government.

Mr. Hun Sen will invite Sam Rainsy party and ask many parties to form the government if the CPP wins the election in 2008.

Prince Norodom Ranaridh asks Mr. Hun Sen to scrutinize the SRP before asking it to join the coalition government, suggesting that Mr. Sam Rainsy, leader of the opposition party, wants to work alone because he wants to win the election.