Cambodia ruling party calls for new election: Tension mounts as opposition pulls ahead in voting and Khmer Rouge rebels say they are ready to start fighting again

PHNOM PENH - Cambodia's ruling party moved yesterday to reject the result of last week's historic election, and Khmer Rouge guerrillas retaliated by threatening renewed war.

'We cannot accept the result if it (the election) is not free and fair,' said Sok An, chief spokesman of the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP), who demanded new elections in at least four provinces.

In Bangkok, a highly placed Khmer Rouge source said its guerrillas were ready to go back to war if the Vietnamese-installed government refused to honour the election result.

United Nations officials said the situation around the country was tense. The UN increased security at its radio station, which was broadcasting election results, after an anonymous telephone threat that an armoured car would attack it. A platoon of Ghanaian soldiers took up positions around the building.

'In any country primary targets are radio and TV stations,' said the UN spokesman, Eric Falt. 'There has been a lot of criticism of Radio Untac (UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia) and it is only natural that we would increase security there.'

The ruling CPP began complaining about voting irregularities after the vote count started to favour the main opposition party, the royalist Funcinpec, which was 5 per cent ahead yesterday morning.

Mr Falt said that with about 60 per cent of ballots counted, Funcinpec had 42.3 per cent of the vote and the government party 37.2 per cent. Final results are expected this week.

'The Vietnamese puppet-regime (CPP) is not going to transfer power to Funcinpec and is not prepared for defeat. So once the result of the election shows the CPP was defeated violence will break out,' the Khmer Rouge source said.

The UN, which superivsed the polling, reported a series of incidents around the country. On Monday night an attacker opened fire on Japanese policemen in the district of Prey Veng but there were no casualties. Yesterday, government soldiers robbed Cambodian civilian Untac employees in Siem Reap, in the north. And a Uruguayan peace-keeper was killed and three other UN soldiers wounded when suspected Khmer Rouge guerrillas ambushed their convoy in eastern Cambodia on Monday.

The Prime Minister, Hun Sen, had earlier indicated acceptance of a UN declaration that the six-day election had been free and fair. But on Monday the government demanded Untac should stop publishing the results. The demand was rejected by the UN. Late on Monday night the CPP president, Chea Sim, and other government officials met the peace-keeping chief, Yasushi Akashi, to air grievances about balloting procedures.

They demanded new elections in the capital, Phnom Penh, which was won easily by Funcinpec; Battambang in the west; Kompong Chhnang, just north of the capital, and Prey Veng in the south-east. Later, the CPP spokesman, Sok An, said the party was considering making the same demand for Kandal, which encircles Phnom Penh, and Kompong Cham, to the east, Cambodia's most populous province.

Asked about holding a new election in the provinces at issue, Mr Akashi told reporters: 'We are not thinking about it at the moment.'

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key Stage 1

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...

Tradewind Recruitment: History Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee