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Cambodia's Vote Results Fair, U.N. Peacekeeper Says

June 10, 1993| From Reuters

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — The chief U.N. peacekeeper in Cambodia declared the results of the country's elections fair Wednesday and rejected demands by the defeated government party for an independent inquiry into alleged fraud.

"Having . . . already certified the polling as free and fair, I am in a position to certify and declare the results of these elections as fair and acceptable," Yasushi Akashi said in a letter to the government party.

Akashi's verdict on last month's U.N.-run election, aimed at bringing peace after years of fighting, was unequivocal. But doubts persisted about how much power the former Communist government is willing to give up after 13 years in office.

Generals from the government army and police met head of state Prince Norodom Sihanouk on Wednesday to press demands for an interim power-sharing deal, even as the leader of the victorious royalist party flew back to Phnom Penh.

But Sihanouk again insisted that he will not revive his abortive proposal for an interim "national government" despite strong support for the idea from U.N. peacekeepers.

Royalist party leader Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Sihanouk's son, arrived in the capital by U.N. helicopter. He had stayed away since voting began May 23, citing security worries.

Under heavy U.N. escort, Ranariddh traveled straight to the palace to meet his father. In the afternoon, he held talks with Akashi, but no details emerged.

U.N. Radio, giving the latest election results, said the royalists had won 45.2% of the vote, or 58 seats in the new Constituent Assembly, and the government Cambodian People's Party 38.6%, giving it 51 seats. The final result will be announced today.

The government, installed by Vietnamese invaders in early 1979, has yet to accept the result, citing "massive irregularities."

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