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
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Arts and Entertainment
books New York Times slammed over summer reading list
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine