Cambodia's king warns of threat to poll
Monday 01 September 1997
The frail monarch returned to Cambodia on Friday after six months of medical treatment in China, and offered to mediate a peace deal to end two months of factional warfare. "If they allow me to do something, I would also like to participate in the informal talks," the King said, referring to possible negotiations between the Second Prime Minister, Hun Sen, and royalists led by the King's son, the former First Prime Minister, Prince Norodom Ranariddh.
Hun Sen has promised elections for next May, the fifth anniversary of a United Nations organised vote that brought him to power in a tense coalition with Prince Ranariddh which was shattered by the coup in early July.
King Sihanouk, 74, told reporters in Siem Reap that he was willing to take up Hun Sen's offer to be a supreme adviser during the elections, but expressed doubts that the polls would be free and fair.
"If we continue like we have been doing in the last two months, we cannot have a democratic, free and fair election," he said. "We will have a guided, arranged election."
Prince Ranariddh won the election in 1993, but Hun Sen forced his way into a coalition by threatening renewed civil war. Few expect Hun Sen to lose next time or to surrender power if he does.
Prince Ranariddh's military supporters were still fighting yesterday along the northern border with Thailand, where they have held out against Hun Sen's larger forces for more than two weeks at the village of O'Smach.
The King predicted that the village will soon fall and that subsequent resistance will come primarily from the Khmer Rouge guerrillas.
A Khmer Rouge faction is fighting alongside Prince Ranariddh's men.
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 5 Germanwings plane crash: I have depression. That doesn't make me a psychopath
East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
Germanwings plane crash: Investigators may have already found remains of suspected killer co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
Children take eight Isis captives to be beheaded in latest propaganda video
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£17000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate Structural Engineer ...
£22000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A New Business Manager role sui...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This particular opportunity is ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Compute Engineer role also ...