by Nguon Sovan
PHNOM PENH, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's political dispute deepened on Sunday as the opposition planned a three-day mass protest against the final election results that handed victory to the long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen's ruling party.
The nation held a general election on July 28. The National Election Committee (NEC) issued the final results on Sunday, showing that the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) of Hun Sen got 68 seats and the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) of long-time opposition leader Sam Rainsy took the remaining 55 seats.
"The CNRP has no surprise over the election results released today and the party's stance is still the same - we do not recognize the results since they do not reflect the will of Cambodian people," Sam Rainsy said in a press conference at the party's headquarters in Phnom Penh on Sunday.
The opposition claimed that its party should win 63 seats, with the CPP receiving 60 seats if alleged irregularities during the poll were fairly resolved.
"The CNRP will call a massive non-violent demonstration for three consecutive days on September 15, 16, 17 at the capital's Freedom Park and then, we will boycott the first session of the National Assembly if an independent probe committee is not formed to look into alleged poll irregularities," the party's Vice- President Kem Sokha told the press conference.
He also appealed to the nation's King Norodom Sihamoni to help mediate a top leaders' meeting between the two parties in order to
find a peaceful solution to the contested election results.
The King is currently in Beijing for routine medical checkup.
The ruling CPP has repeatedly ruled out the opposition's request for an independent poll probe committee, saying it is against the country's constitution since the opposition has asked for the exclusion of the NEC from the proposed committee.
Speaking in a press briefing on Sunday, CPP's senior legislator Chheang Vun said: "There is no need to discuss the so-called independent poll probe committee since the official election results were released already."
He said that King Norodom Sihamoni will return to Cambodia next Wednesday and he may convene the opening session of the new National Assembly in the early fourth week of this month -- no later than Sept. 28.
Meanwhile, Chheang Vun said that it would be impossible for his ruling CPP to form a coalition government with the opposition party in the forthcoming new government because it is contrary to the democratic principle.
The CPP issued a statement on Sunday, urging the CNRP to see the interests of the nation and the people as top priority and should do everything based on the country's constitution, laws, and democratic principle.
"The CPP accepts the official election results and vows to protect the results, which were born from the real will of the Cambodian people," the statement said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen has said that his party has enough lawmakers to override any opposition parliamentary boycott and form a new government.
He said, according to the constitution, a new government would be formed by a 50 percent plus one majority, or 63 lawmakers, in the new parliament.
Hun Sen, 61, who has ruled the country for 28 years, will stretch his power for further five years through the victory.
Security forces and armored vehicles have been deployed around the capital since early last month after the opposition has repeatedly threatened to call mass demonstrations.
On Saturday, at least 20,000 opposition supporters held a four- hour non-violent protest at the capital's Freedom Park to reject the election results.