by Nguon Sovan
PHNOM PENH, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia opened the fifth legislature of the National Assembly successfully on Monday even though the opposition party boycotted the session because it did not recognize the results of the July 28 election that handed victory to Prime Minister Hun Sen's ruling party.
King Norodom Sihamoni opened the new parliament session, which was attended by only all 68 elected lawmakers from the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) of Prime Minister Hun Sen and the 55 elected lawmakers from the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) of long-time opposition leader Sam Rainsy did not join it.
The opposition CNRP boycotted the session since it did not recognize the results of the July 28 election, claiming serious vote fraud and demanding the formation of an independent poll probe committee, but the CPP rejected the request, saying the move was against the country's constitution and the election results were already ratified.
Addressing the session, King Sihamoni called on all newly- elected lawmakers to see the country's interest as the top priority and should unify for the nation's prestige. "This is a new opportunity for our legislative body, all elected lawmakers, to try all your best both physically and mentally to serve the nation by seeing national interest as the top priority," he said.
He also urged all lawmakers to work closely in order to lead the Cambodian people to live in happiness, peace and stability in the context of ensuring freedom and human rights respect.
"To achieve these excellent duties, the Cambodian people should have highly-national unity and solidarity based on the implementation of democratic principles and rule of law that the kingdom has carried out since 1993," he said.
The king also said that the nation needed to further construct social justice to a higher level through more active reforms on legal and judicial systems.
"I hope that the fifth legislature of the National Assembly will function well and fulfill its duties successfully for the interest of the nation and the Cambodian people," he said.
After the opening session, the king appointed incumbent Prime Minister Hun Sen as the prime minister for the new five-year-term government after the CPP's victory in the July 28 election.
"The prime minister of Cambodia has duties to prepare the members of the Cambodian government in order to ask for the adoption of confidence from the National Assembly," the king said in the royal decree of appointment.
In response to the appointment, Prime Minister Hun Sen thanked the king and vowed to put all his efforts to fulfill his duties in order to serve the nation and the people.
The premier said that he would submit the members of the new government to the dean of the parliament on Tuesday in order to ask for the adoption of confidence.
According to the official schedule, Hun Sen, 61, who has been in power for 28 years, will be sworn in for another five-year term on Tuesday.
The opposition CNRP issued a statement on Monday, saying that the new parliament was the one-party parliament and did not represent the whole Cambodian people. "This opening session is a violation of the constitution," the statement said. "It is completely contrary to the principle of multi-party liberal democratic regime."
However, according to the country's constitution, a new government would be formed by a 50 percent plus one majority, or 63 lawmakers, in the new parliament.
Security has been tightened on Monday and anti-riot police have been deployed along streets in the city with barbed wire barricades being used to block roads surrounding key government's buildings, the Royal Palace, and the National Assembly.
"We have used thousands of security forces to ensure security and public order during the session," National Military Police spokesman Kheng Tito told Xinhua, adding that protests were not allowed during these days.