EU, Chinese Add Voices to Calls for Unity

China and the European Union have appealed to Cambodia’s political parties to resolve their disputes and quickly form a new government.

The EU declaration on Friday from Vienna, Austria, which holds the current six-month EU presidency, called on “all parties to refrain from any kind of activity which could lead to tensions or violence and to facilitate the process of national reconciliation.”

Also on Friday, Chinese Fo­reign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao was quoted by Xinhua news agency as expressing hope that the parties would resolve their differences under the leadership of King Norodom Sihanouk.

“This not only accords with the basic interests of Cambodian nationals but is conducive to maintaining regional stability and development as well,” he said.

The poll’s official results were announced last week, confirming that the CPP had won 64 of the Na­tional Assembly’s 122 seats. Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party, however, have threatened to block the formation of the go­vern­ment until their claims of election fraud are investigated and that an earlier, more favorable seat-allocation formula be adopted.

Asean and Japan last week also appealed for the parties to cooperate. Japan said the polls were “credible” and reflected the will of the people. Asean called the election “free and fair” and urged the country’s parties to quickly form a coalition government. Those two endorsements drew fire from opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Prince Norodom Ranariddh.

The two party presidents stated Friday it was premature to make announcements on the official election results. They urged other countries to hold off on their judgments, pointing to several monitor groups who recently have called for assessments to be delayed until election fraud complaints have been investigated.

“Premature conclusions made by outside observers can only da­mage the prospects for Cambo­dia’s long-term political stability,” they stated.

They said premature pronouncements by members of the international community might undermine ongoing political talks being held in Siem Reap with the King.



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