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Wednesday, 29 April, 1998, 08:09 GMT 09:09 UK
Cambodia strongman gives election pledge

The Cambodian leader Hun Sen says he's determined to ensure that elections in July will be free and fair and he'll hand over power peacefully if he loses.

He told a rally in Phnom Penh - his first public appearance for six weeks since his mother's death - the elections were crucial for Cambodia and all political parties must be able to campaign without threat or intimidation.

He also said that if his Cambodia Peoples Party won on July 26 he's ready to invite other parties to join a new coalition government.

Hun Sen made no mention of his ousted rival Prince Norodom Ranariddh, who's returned from exile to contest the July election.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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