Following is an unofficial translation of Samdech Hun Sen’s responses to the press at the Office of the Council of Ministers on issues relating to the current political development in Cambodia.
… (Whether Ms Dominique McAdams agrees with the position taken by Japan in urging for a quick formation of a Government with Samdech Hun Sen as Prime Minister) I think that not only the United Nations for Development Program, but also the people of Cambodia and the international community, have all wished to see a new Government that is born out of the election. As for who will be the Prime Minister of the Government, I think that we have it stipulated clearly in the constitution. It is not necessary to make any comments.
… (As far as the Alliance of Democrats is concerned) if they think of creating it in order to bargain Hun Sen out of power, I would say that the objective is dead right after its birth. The Alliance has not got a value or weight in pressurizing the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) into a negotiation with them at all. The August-24th statement of denial by Samdech Chea Sim has put an end to the Alliance’s life. There is a very simple fact here. We all went to vote and it was just three weeks away. In the ballot there were no sign of Coalition of Democrats but only those registered political parties in contest. With this fact there remains no rational legality or politics for (the CPP) to negotiate with the Alliance but only with the one political party that (I think) should be selected into the new Government, while leaving the other one as an opposition party.
… Yesterday someone was sent for an urgent meeting with Samdech Chea Sim but he was denied and given suggestion that the person should go and meet the one in charge of organizing the Government, and who is that person? It is Hun Sen. CPP would from now on leave no room for anyone’s misinterpretation anymore. Any negotiation could not be held between just the heads of parties but it has to be conducted by delegates of the parties involved in which Hun Sen is present. Any discussion on the formation of the new Government has to be done with Hun Sen. Everyone may have learned the CPP’s history already that Samdech Heng Samrin and Samdech Chea Sim had fully delegated power to Hun Sen to conduct political negotiations.
… Why is there a preference for other people to seek a split within the CPP? It is because we understand their moves, Samdech Chea Sim and I have agreed with each other to shut all other doors but only one that the parties concerned should assign a group of delegates, may be between 20 and 30, with Hun Sen’s presence, for such a negotiation. No one could avoid a negotiation with Hun Sen who has been empowered by the CPP congress as its sole candidate for the post of Prime Minister.
… We should leave this issue of election with the Constitutional Council and the National Election Committee (NEC) so that an official and certain election result is proclaimed. After that it is HM the King’s role in convening, according to the article 82 of the Constitution, a meeting of the elected members of the National Assembly within 60 days to the latest, while successive meeting should be held under the presidency of the oldest member with youngest ones as secretaries. It is in this meeting that they adopt internal rules and regulations while separately selecting President, Vice Presidents, and various other commissions of the National Assembly. It will be then that the whole Assembly will swear in. I think that real negotiation would start after HM the King convenes the meeting. The remaining question would be whether they join in such a meeting or not? If they fail to do so, it would be a serious violation.
… In any instances I would think that a political coordination would be held after the meeting of the National Assembly. In other instance, any coordination should not derail (what is allowed by the Constitution). The proposition for the formation of a tripartite Government or the National Salvation Government was not stipulated in the Constitution and neither was the neutral Prime Minister. I would not touch this issue any further as they set too high a value. It is indeed a ridiculous thinking on the type of democracy in Cambodia that the one who lost the election, which I called the permanent opposition party, proposed a scenario of who could be the Prime Minister, while keeping himself Deputy Prime Minister’s position. I would warn that there is only one chance in a thousand to get selected as partner in the new Government. But it is also a reversal truth that if another party is too inflexible, it could suffer the same chance.
… We could choose one out of the two but I would not say who yet. My comments are clear that we are not too impatient on this matter. Losers talk about forming a Government while winners talk about legal procedure. (As for which of the two parties could win a compromise) it is normal that we might have compromise with the one with whom we have worked over the past ten years. It was because I wanted to leave room for manoeuvres that is why I did not make electoral campaign… (Regarding possible intervention from outside) I think it is ironical for everyone because we have HM the King here and we should value the magnificent role of HM the King in seeking HM’s intervention rather than assistance from foreign countries. Any move in this direction is inviting foreign interventions into the Cambodian internal affairs…