Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sar Kheng on January 31 accused the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) of trying to launch an constitutional coup d’etat against the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

In a meeting with the Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia , Yuji Kumamaru, in Phnom Penh , Sar Kheng said the opposition was trying to oust the government by refusing to accept the disputed result of the July 2013 national election, and by calling for a new vote.

CNRP’s moves amount to a constitutional coup plot aiming to topple the current legal government, he said.

Kheng added that post-election developments proved that while the ruling Cambodia People’s Party (CPP) is ready for negotiations with the CNRP at all levels at any time, the opposition’s leaders are yet to show their real will to solve the political disputes.

Meanwhile, another CPP official, lawmaker Cheam Yeap, also held that CNRP is trying to overthrow PM Hun Sen’s government through a civil coup. CNRP leader Sam Rainsy’s activities abroad, in which he called on partners to stop trade contracts with the country, violated the Cambodian constitution, he said.

To date, negotiations between the CPP and the CNRP have collapsed without any sign of restoration. The CNRP still refuses the election results and is boycotting the new parliament and demanding a new election, while the ruling party has appealed for further talks.

Cambodia is facing a political crisis stemming from the July 2013 election in which the CPP won 68 parliament seats and the CNRP received 55. The opposition has claimed the poll was rigged.

Earlier on January 31, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong told visiting British Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire that the CNRP should join parliament if it really wants to debate on electoral reform or a re-election.

According to the nation's constitution, the National Assembly cannot be dissolved before a five-year term ends, Namhong stated, adding that the opposition's demands for a re-election or an early election would require an amendment to the constitution.

He said the CPP is still open for negotiations with the opposition on the dispute.

For his part, Swire said that it was essential for the two parties to meet and negotiate for a peaceful solution to their differences.-VNA