Question: The opposition Party has put into action its phase-ii strategy to demand Samdech Techo to step down, to organize a re-election and to reform the National Election Commission. Kem Sokha also warns of phase-iii strategy, which they would also block roads, close down ministries. What is your reaction?
Samdech Techo: I would clarify to all of you that, unlike in other country, where the Constitution allows the Prime Minister to dissolve the Parliament, in the Kingdom of Cambodia, the article 78 its Constitution stipulates that the National Assembly of each term will be for a five years. It cannot be dissolved before end of its term, unless, within a respective legislative term, the Royal Government has been dissolved twice within twelve months. This means that in Cambodia, according to its Constitution, no one, neither the Prime Minister nor HM the King, nor the National Assembly, has the rights to dissolve the National Assembly. I would suggest that everyone looks at the law of the country.
On their demand for me to step down, (I would ask them) what did I do wrong? In addition to that removing me (unconstitutionally) of my post would not be what the Cambodian People’s Party and my supporters want to happen. It is true those who do not support me have done so since we liberated the country from the regime of Pol Pot. Right after the liberation, those people wished to remove me already. I am not surprised. I know that the one who has formulated a slogan “Hun Sen to step down” is not a simple demonstrator but a political leader. That I have been (elected to the post of Prime Minister) by the Constitution, I would step down only in accordance with the Constitution.
Having said that I would reaffirm there is no such thing as re-election because no one has the mandate to dissolve the National Assembly and there has not been such mechanism to determine re-election before end of the (legislative) term too. Aside from what is stipulated in the Constitution, the Election Law states that every five years, on Sunday of the fourth week of the month of July, Cambodia organizes general elections.
Concerning the would-be closing down of roads by demonstrations, I would just share a thought that the closure would not affect only the Royal Government or a number of institutions, but the people in general. It is illegal. That it is illegal, it leaves the Royal Government with no choice but response with legal action. I would urge our people to stay away from the appeal to block roads. Blocking roads is blocking one’s own blood vein. The Royal Government has been patient and respecting the people’s rights in organizing peaceful demonstration but, I may emphasize, it would not consent with illegal action and acts of stirring instability. We would not allow action that would jeopardize the national security and I would urge a precaution of the third hand./.