PHNOM PENH, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- The ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) has "no fear or concern" over the merger plan of the two main opposition parties ahead of a general election in July next year, Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Wednesday.
It was the premier's first reaction since the two main opposition parties--the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party--announced on July 17 that they jointly formed the Cambodia Democratic Movement for National Rescue in order to work towards a merger between the two parties as a new political party ahead of the general election next year.
"The movement has no even slight impact on the CPP. The CPP has no fear or concern over the movement," he said at a graduation ceremony of more than 2,600 students at the Royal University of Law and Economics.
However, he said that he will step down if he loses in next year's election.
"I will step down if you win the election next year, and the Peace Palace (Prime Minister's office) will be yours," said Hun Sen, who is the CPP's vice-president.
Prime Minister Hun Sen has been in power for 27 years.
Cambodia holds a general election in every five years. The last election was held in July 2008. As a result, the CPP won 90 seats out of the 123 seats in the National Assembly, followed by the Sam Rainsy Party with 26 seats, the Human Rights Party 3 seats, the Norodom Ranariddh Party 2 seats and the Funcinpec Party 2 seats.