Original report from Phnom Penh
20 August 2008
Khmer audio aired 20 August 2008 (0.99 MB) – Listen (MP3)
King Norodom Sihamoni will participate as scheduled in the swearing-in ceremony for the new government next month, despite a request from opposition for him to postpone it.
“The king cannot walk outside of the law,” Prince Sisowath Thomico, assistant to the king, told VOA Khmer Wednesday. “Especially after the official declaration of the election results by the National Election Committee and the approval of the Constitutional Council.”
Though the Sam Rainsy and Human Rights parties have threatened to boycott the ceremony, claiming the election was fraudulent, the king will preside because the “legal and political conditions cannot push the king outside the ceremony,” Prince Thomico said.
Both parties had requested the king postpone the ceremony, as they seek to prove a number of irregularities will necessitate another round of national voting.
Cambodian People’s Party officials maintain they can conduct the National Assembly even without the participation of 26 SRP and three HRP elected parliamentarians.
The king “cannot interfere in a political conflict between the opposition and ruling parties,” Prince Thomico said.
The king will forward any request to postpone the ceremony to the government and the office of the National Assembly for consideration, Prince Thomico said.