Prince, Rainsy Put Chirac Right

In a gentle rebuttal to French President Jacques Chirac, opposition leaders Prince Norodom Ranariddh and Sam Rainsy have called for his support in their fight to challenge the provisional outcome of the July 26 polls.

The two said in a letter delivered to King Norodom Sihanouk that it was not yet possible to say “with certainty what the Cam­bodian people wanted to ex­press through the July 26 elections.”

The letter was in response to Chirac, who in an Aug 13 letter to the King welcomed the success of the polls. “It is now essential that the main political forces of the country work in respect of the will expressed by the Cambodian people,” Chirac wrote—an apparent call for the formation of a co­alition government.

Prince Ranariddh and Sam Rainsy wrote the election was not over until the resolution of more than 800 complaints of poll fraud.

They appealed for international observers to continue to monitor events, including the resolution of the conflict over the allocation formula for the National Assembly.

“The three Cambodian NGOS (Com­frel, Coffel, Nicfec) on which the international observers relied on in order to compensate for their own small numbers, have stated their own doubts about the formula the NEC wants to use,” the two leaders wrote.

“It is only when [these issues] are solved with impartiality that the main political forces of the country will be able to work ‘in respect of the will expressed by the Cambo­dian people.’”


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