>Funcinpec ready to partner CPP

>Mr. Nhiek Bunchhay

By Ly Menghour
The Mekong Times

The Funcinpec Party has announced its final post-election stance – the party is not divided and does not reject the election results. In addition, Funcinpec is prepared to once more join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) to form a coalition government, Funcinpec President Keo Puth Reasmey and Funcinpec Secretary General Nheik Bun Chhay said yesterday after a closed-door party meeting.
“The meeting … showed that there is only one Funcinpec,” said Keo Puth Reasmey after the three-hour meeting held at Funcinpec’s Phnom Penh headquarters.
Funcinpec will make no formal complaints and will not lodge a lawsuit concerning the election outcome, Keo Puth Reasmey added.
“Although we are not satisfied with the outcome, we [will] not make a complaint against the election results, which could cause national political instability,” he said.
Nheik Bun Chhay called the election “free but not fair.”
“[W]e have received news of irregularities,” he said, adding that Funcinpec will form a coalition with the CPP, if invited by the CPP.
“We have cooperated well with the CPP for three mandates … We have contributed a lot to political stability,” Nheik Bun Chhay said.
The Thursday announcement came a day after rumors of a party division between Nheik Bun Chhay and Keo Puth Reasmey. Government spokesman Khieu Khanarith announced that the CPP will be forming a coalition government with a Nheik Bun Chhay-led Funcinpec the same day, though he warned that Keo Puth Reasmey, Prince Sisowath Sirirath and other prominent Funcipec royalists will be barred from government. Khieu Khanarith said this was because of complaints that Sisowath Sirirath had joined the opposition parties to appeal for a re-election.
Funcinpec’s stance on forming the new government with the CPP is to be officially announced after a meeting of the Funcinpec Standing Committee Friday evening.
“We have agreed on everything,” claimed Khieu Khanarith. “The CPP, a virtuous partner, will keep its promise of forming a coalition government with Funcinpec, and Nhiek Bun Chhay has been selected by the party to negotiate the posts with the CPP.”
Khieu Khanarith would give no further statement about forming a government with Funcinpec, and referred further comment to Funcinpec Deputy Secretary General Serei Kosal, who was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Ly Menghour

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