‘Unity’ urged by King as West ‘boycotts’ opening

King Norodom Sihamoni used the opening of parliament on Wednesday morning to call for “strong national solidarity based on the spirit of national unity” as he inaugurated the sixth mandate of the National Assembly in a ceremony that was devoid of representatives from major Western embassies.

Nine of the 31 missions invited did not send their ambassadors, with Australia saying on Tuesday it would not be represented due to the “flawed election process” that led to a one-party National Assembly – controlled by prime minister-designate Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) – for the first time in Cambodia’s modern history.

The US and EU embassies said their ambassadors were “unable to attend” the event.

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