Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday said that a new government is scheduled to be formed ahead of schedule early next month after he discussed the move with legal officials.
Mr Hun Sen said on Monday that he wanted the new government to be created as early as possible to facilitate his attendance at the United Nations General Assembly next month, when he plans to deliver a speech detailing the country’s successful democratic election.
Speaking to about 18,000 garment workers in Kampong Speu province’s Chbar Mon city yesterday, Mr Hun Sen said that after holding discussions with the president of Constitutional Council of Cambodia and the chairman of the National Election Committee, he asked King Norodom Sihamoni to change the date to open the National Assembly’s first session on September 5 instead of September 19.
“I would like to send a message to all Cambodian people that I met the King yesterday and asked him to change the date to open the parliament’s first session to form a new government,” he said.
He said that the King will preside over the National Assembly’s opening session on September 5.
“The National Assembly’s opening session will take place on September 5 and elected lawmakers will take oaths in the evening,” Mr Hun Sen said. “The heads of the National Assembly will be elected on Thursday, September 6, when a new government will be created.”
“The Council of Ministers’ first meeting will take place on Friday morning, September 7,” he added.
According to the NEC’s preliminary results, the CPP secured roughly 4.8 million votes, dwarfing its two closet competitors, the Funcinpec party with 373,526 votes and the League for Democratic Party with 308,292 votes.
Based on its own calculations, the CPP said it secured all 125 seats in the National Assembly after garnering 77.78 percent of all valid ballots.
The NEC is scheduled to announce results on August 11.
Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said that Mr Hun Sen was in a rush to have a new government created to avoid further international criticism.
“Perhaps he doesn’t like uncertainty and wants to get confirmed as a popularly supported premier and ruler of Cambodia to fight off all international pressure,” Mr Mong Hay said. “After confirming overwhelming popular support, and with unshakable support from China, our Prime Minister should feel stronger and more powerful than ever.”
Recently, both Canada and the US slammed the election as neither free nor fair, but both China and Russia supported the poll.
Australia, the European Union, France and England also issued statements expressing their concern over the election, claiming it was not free or fair due to the absence of the CNRP and a crackdown on civil society organisations.
US Assistant Secretary of Defence Randy Schriver issued a statement yesterday expressing concern over political trends in Cambodia.
With a “more capable, more assertive” China, the US must provide a distinguishably better alternative, he said.
US policy for Southeast Asia is for a free and open region, meaning the respect for sovereignty and freedom of the people while internationally engaged through investment and trade, he added.
After calling the election a sham, Mr Schriver reconfirmed an earlier White House statement that more action will be taken by the US against Cambodia.
Phay Siphan, spokesman for government, said Mr Schriver’s comments were baseless, noting the US seems to fear Cambodia’s close relationship with China.
“Cambodia is independent and will maintain peace and cooperation to improve the prosperity of all,” he said.
Mr Hun Sen said that voters made the right decision to vote for the CPP in order to maintain the country’s peace and development, and improve people’s living conditions.
“For this new mandate, we are making efforts to make all reforms to improve people’s livelihoods,” he said.
He added that he has ruled Cambodia for more than 30 years and will become the longest-serving Prime Minister in the world.
“I have been Prime Minister for about 34 years and when you add five years more, that is 39 years, and you have to add five more after that, which will make Hun Sen the longest-serving Prime Minister in the world,” he said.
Sam Inn, secretary-general of the Grassroots Democratic Party, said that the GDP still believes the election was not free or fair.
“However, we will respect Cambodia’s law, a new government and the National Assembly that support the will of the people,” Mr Inn said.