In an apparent slight to his former political rival, Prime Minster Hun Sen said Monday at least one party to cease-fire talks 20 years ago was nothing but a “recorder” who wanted to elevate himself to status of prime minister.
Following the talks in December 1987, Cambodia began to democratize, which lead after violence and posturing to a co-premiership between Hun Sen and Prince Norodom Ranariddh. This led to a coup d’etat, in 1997, through which Hun Sen and the Cambodian People’s Party seized political control.
Prince Ranariddh is the head of his own political party as national elections approach.
Koul Panha, director of the monitor group Comfrel, said Monday Hun Sen may have been referring to Prince Ranariddh, but such references would not affect the prince’s political popularity.
During the 1987 peace talks, between Hun Sen and then king Norodom Sihanouk, “someone was just a recorder at the place, and he wants to boost his rank up to Hun Sen's rank, replacing the duties of the Father,” Hun Sen said.
The talks helped lead to the eventual signing of the Paris Peace Accords, on Oct. 23, 1991, but not because of the “someone,” Hun Sen said of his unnamed opponent. “Don’t boast of yourself as the Father.”