Cambodia faced with threat of secession: Ruling party refuses to accept result of UN-run poll and warns of bloodshed
The UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (Untac) has certified that the election was free and fair. It is treating the warnings by the Prime Minister, Hun Sen, as a heavy-handed attempt to exert pressure rather than a serious threat, but they highlight the difficulty of persuading the Phnom Penh government, with its control of the armed forces and the bureaucracy, to yield power.
Some fear a repetition of the situation in Angola, where a successful election was followed by a resumption of the civil war because the losers refused to accept the result.
Mr Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party (CPP) took 38 per cent of the votes, and 51 seats in the national assembly, to the 45 per cent and 58 seats gained by the royalist Funcinpec party. The 120-member assembly has three months to draw up a constitution before forming a government. Both parties accept they will have to work together, but neither is willing to take a subordinate role.
Supporters of the CPP, including armed soldiers and police, have demonstrated against the UN in two provinces this week. Mr Hun Sen claimed yesterday these were spontaneous, saying: 'I can no longer control the situation. Those in the lower ranks don't have the same views as us. At this moment a number of provinces have decided to secede, and to reject the result of the election and refuse to listen to anybody.' The government says as many as six provinces in the east and north-east might be ready to break away.
The head of Untac, Yasushi Akashi, said talk of breakaway provinces was 'a move to attain certain objectives'.
Mr Hun Sen's efforts to create alarm appear to be directed mainly at the country's former ruler, Prince Norodom Sihanouk. All sides accept there is little chance of a peaceful settlement without the 70-year-old Prince, but he is smarting after his attempt to form a coalition government last week fell apart within hours.
He wanted to give the CPP and Funcinpec equal power, but his son, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, who leads Funcinpec, complained that Prince Sihanouk was being stampeded by Phnom Penh's veiled threats into giving away too much.
- 2 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 3 Andy Murray takes to Twitter to show off his Christmas jumper
- 5 Top 10 travel destinations for 2015: From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
UK weather: Travel chaos continues as King's Cross train delays add to snow on roads
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...