Rainsy Backs Thomico’s Call for UN Help in 2007

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy said he will support Prince Si­sowath Thomico in calling for the UN to mo­nitor the 2007 com­mune elec­tions.

The announcement is a victory of sorts for Prince Thomico, who announced his desire for UN oversight at a news conference Saturday. He is struggling to gain legitimacy for his newly formed Sangkum Cheat Niyum Front Party.

On Wednesday, Prince Tho­mico implied his party might forge stronger ties with the SRP in the lead up to the 2008 national elections.

“The democrats should support each other,” Thomico said. “If the elections are not transparent and just, there will be no democracy.”

Sam Rainsy said previous elections had been rife with irregularities, and that Prince Thomico’s idea is a good one

“We are close to elections and when the request is made by Prince Thomico, I will surely support it,” he said.

Sam Rainsy said that currently UN Development Program ex­perts are working with the Na­tional Elec­tion Committee and in­ter­na­tional observers would come when the election nears.

UNDP spokesman Men Kim­seng declined to comment on the proposal for UN oversight of the election.

Prince Thomico said that the SRP and SCNFP have also created a “per­manent dialogue” between the parties that will be executed through each group’s secretary-general. It could be only the beginning.

“For [the 2008 national elections] I leave all options open,” the prince said. “If it means an alliance or a merger, we will do what is best for the country.”

Prince Thomico also said that he would cease pushing for Prince Norodom Ranariddh to dis­solve Funcinpec, but chided the party for kowtowing to the ruling CPP.

He said he has requested a meeting with Prince Ranariddh, but has received no response.

Ok Socheat, Prince Ranariddh’s public affairs adviser, said that he had not yet informed Prince Rana­riddh of Prince Thomico’s interest in speaking with him, adding that he might inform him today.

(Additional reporting by John Maloy)


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