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Hun Sen Attacks Political Opponents

Prime Minister Hun Sen Monday said the ruling party would not consider a coalition with any of the up-and-coming parties.

During a speech at a commencement ceremony in Phnom Penh, Hun Sen made jabs at the Sam Rainsy, Human Rights and Norodom Ranarridh parties, all of which will stand in opposition against him in national parliamentary polls in July.

The ruling Cambodian People's Party would not be willing to enter a coalition with any of these, Hun Sen said.

The CPP's current coalition partner, Funcinpec, was severely defeated in local commune elections earlier this year, but Hun Sen and his ruling party have steadfastly maintained they will keep their political partner.

"The season of deceit is coming again," Hun Sen told his audience. "Now it is the 10th month. There are nine months to go…. If [these parties] win, go ahead and be the government alone. But, if the CPP wins, Funcinpec alone will be enough to be the CPP's partner. It is not necessary for other parties to be in."

A new election law will make it easier for the CPP to hold government power without a coaltion.

Cambodia's system requires 63 parliamentary seats to form a functioning government, or 50 percent plus one, a change for the two-thirds majority rule of the last election. The CPP currently holds 73 seats.

Human Rights Party President Kem Sokha said his party existed to give power to the people.

"In the name of the Human Rights party, and my name, I would like to announce to the people that I have never asked any individual, or any party, to join the coalition government," he said.

NRP spokesman Muth Chantha declined to predict how his party would side following next year's election.