PM Continues To Lambaste Untac for ’93 Election

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Mon­day once again laid into the UN Tran­sitional Authority in Cambo­dia—the UN-led operation that ad­ministered the country ahead of the historic 1993 election—saying that he would continue to call it a failure un­til the day he died.

Speaking at a ceremony at Ang­kor Wat also attended by Unesco officials, Hun Sen took a dig at the UN for—among other things—their organizing of the 1993 vote, which he called “the worst.”

The CPP suffered its only defeat at the polls in 1993, losing to Fun­cinpec in the country’s first post-conflict, democratic election.

“Don’t work with the United Na­tions. I speak the truth; the Cam­bodian election was the worst,” the premier said. “They [Untac] smuggled everything in Cambodia. They sold Untac’s materials in markets…. Those cars they claimed were sto­len, Untac stole themselves.”

“I can’t stop talking about Untac; I will continue to talk until the day I die,” he added.

Hun Sen went on to say that Un­tac was scared of the Khmer Rouge, pointing to a story when two teen­age Khmer Rouge soldiers manning a makeshift roadblock successfully stopped Untac chief Ya­sushi Akashi from traveling to Pailin.

“Those young Khmer Rouge soldiers…if they are alive they will be invited to become heroes,” Hun Sen continued. “I want to give them money.”

A spokeswoman from the UN Development Program in Phnom Penh said in an e-mail Monday that UN Resident Coordinator Douglas Broderick could not comment on the prime minister’s remarks be­cause he had not heard the speech.

Constitutional Council member Son Soubert, who served as Nation­al Assembly second vice president after the 1993 election, said that U­n­tac brought peace to Cambodia, and that any failings it may have had were the result of the lack of cooperation it received from the CPP and the Khmer Rouge.

“After the Paris Peace Accords, without Untac we wouldn’t have had peace,” said Son Soubert, who is also the son of Son Sann, the highly respected leader of the republican faction during the turbulent 1980s.

“Untac did proper work. Untac gave justice to all political parties,” he said, adding that Funcinpec was able to win the 1993 election be­cause people were free to vote how they wanted in the UN-monitored vote.

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