PHNOM PENH — A United Nations-supervised election could turn Cambodia into a colony of Vietnam if it is held without the participation of the Khmer Rouge, the radical guerrilla group's president said on Oct. 20.
The UN has vowed to go ahead with the election as scheduled next May despite the fact that the Khmer Rouge has stopped participating in a peace process agreed to last October.
The Khmer Rouge says the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) underestimates the threat posed by Hanoi and has left too much power in the hands of the Phnom Penh government, said Khmer Rouge President Khieu Samphan.
The Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh has branded as "brazen slander" claims by the Khmer Rouge that Hanoi's soldiers are still fighting in Cambodia.
The Khmer Rouge considerably hardened their stance against the UN operation with the release Oct. 14 of a statement warning that war will continue.