A former deputy prime minister has appealed to the ruling CPP and the former opposition CNRP party to negotiate with the King as arbiter in a move to find to solution to a “political crisis”.
Lu Lay Sreng, a former deputy prime minister from the royalist Funcinpec party who lives in exile, made his appeal on Wednesday after Prime Minister Hun Sen previously said that no negotiation would materialise between the CPP and the CNRP, and the upcoming election would move on as scheduled.
In a video posted to his Facebook page on Wednesday, Mr Lay Sreng said that the CPP has everything in its favour and should not be afraid of losing the election.
“My idea is to have both parties talk to each other with the King’s help. I think that [the CNRP] wants to solve it and Prime Minister Hun Sen also wants to solve it too,” he said
“The King should invite them to negotiate. Whatever party wins or loses, we are still Khmer. If the party loses this election, it will win the next one.”
Mr Lay Sreng fled the country in October last year before facing lawsuits lodged by Funcinpec, Mr Hun Sen and the Justice Ministry over insulting the King and accusing Mr Hun Sen of promising Funcinpec officials $20,000 each to take over CNRP lawmaker’s seats after the party’s dissolution.
“I am so frustrated with some points that I want the King to come out as an arbitrator because only he can solve this problem and help avoid international pressure on Cambodia,” said Mr Lay Sreng. “Politicians should not depend on China. We should depend on Khmer and Khmer instead.”
The CNRP was dissolved by the Supreme Court in November after its leader Kem Sokha was jailed on treason charges and 118 senior members were banned from politics for five years.
Sok Eysan, spokesman for the ruling CPP, said that Mr Lay Sreng’s appeal was out of line.
“The use of the King’s role to intervene would disturb the King because the country is not stuck in a political crisis and democracy is not dead,” Mr Eysan said.
He said the country was not facing a crisis because peace and stability prevailed and the rule of law was in place.