US Congressmen Threaten Aid Discontinuation

Two US Congressmen—one the leading member of a foreign affairs committee—have warned the US will not resume aid to Cambodia without an honest investigation into poll violations and the formation of an “equal” coalition government.

Benjamin Gilman, chairman of the International Relations Com­mittee of the US House of Repre­sentatives, told Voice of America last week he would not support resuming US aid to Cambodia unless a coalition government was formed “equitably, democratically and peacefully.”

“A government must be form­ed which accurately represents the will of the Cambodian people…where opposition forces received 60 percent of the popular vote,” Gilman said.

Also, in a letter to King Noro­dom Sihanouk, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said ballot irregularities must be examined before the US will resume aid.

Rohrabacher insisted the view held by himself and Gilman reflects “the true attitude of US policy makers.”

The CPP, which took 64 of the 122 seats in the Assembly in July’s polls, has threatened to amend the Constitution so that it can rule alone if the opposition parties follow through on their threat to boycott the Assembly.

In a release to VOA, Gilman un­equivocally said a constitutional change would be unacceptable. He urged all parties to refrain from vio­lence or provocative actions, and asked that all allegations of election fraud be fully investigated.

Rohrabacher echoed Gilman’s comments, stating in his Sept 4 letter to the King that both election fraud charges and the controversial formula used to allocate seats in the National Assembly need to be “thoroughly and honestly investigated and resolved” before the new Cambodian government would qualify for US assistance.

He also said he would attach the requirements to a draft law in the Congress, saying aid to Cambodia would be given only if such action were taken.

“At the time a credible and legitimate government is seated and begins the process of building an independent judicial system and a de-politicized military and police system, the US Con­gress will authorize assistance to Cambodia,” Rohra­ba­cher wrote.

Rohrabacher also took a swipe at Stephen Solarz, a former Congressman who helped coordinate US election monitors. Referring to Solarz only as “a well-known American,” he derided his view the election had been a “miracle on the Mekong.”

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