As King Norodom Sihamoni returned from the Beijing Olympics
Friday, he was scheduled for key election functions, but opposition officials
said they would ask him to delay a swearing-in ceremony for the formation of
the new government.
Opposition leaders are maintaining a boycott of July's
election results, claiming widespread fraud undermined free and fair
Their complaints of fraud were dismissed by the National
Election Committee, but they have appealed to the Constitutional Council.
Ruling party officials say the opposition risks losing its seats if it
maintains the boycott.
"The opposition still has a strong stance against the
election results and requests a revote, because of many irregularities,"
Kong Kom, Sam Rainsy Party vice president, said. "If the king invites [new
government members] to join the swearing-in ceremony…we will deny. But we
request the king to reschedule the swearing-in ceremony on another day, until
the National Election Committee, Constitutional Council and the international
community recognize the election as free and fair."
A denial of the king's invitation by the opposition would
invite "political assassination," Nguon
Nhil, Cambodian People's Party senior official, told VOA Khmer Friday.
"If the opposition denies the king's invitation…the
opposition looks down on the king and breaks the constitution," Nguon
"The presence of the king and the majority win of the CPP will disqualify
the opposition boycott."
Lao Monghay, a senior researcher for the Asian Human Rights
Commission, said the king could face a complication on his return from Beijing.
"The king also has much concern about the
boycott," he said. "I don't have hope the king can solve the problem,
because the king has limited political experience to administer the state. But
the CPP's big win, if it will use its potential power over the king, maybe it
will ask the king to take action as stated in the constitution, which will be
difficult for the king to deny."
Meanwhile, King Sihamoni will also need to address a request
by the Norodom Ranariddh Party to pardon the prince, who remains in exile
following sentencing over breach of trust.
"The pardon is not a priority," Lao Monghay said.
"But the opening of the new National Assembly is the priority."