In the Phnom Penh post issue of May 16-29,1997, Tricia Fitzgerald quoted Mr. Ieng
Sary, the Democratic National Union Movement chairman, as saying: "We will have
to point the gun if the electoral results are fair and the losing party does not
hand over power to the winner."
The DNUM spokesman is sorry that Miss Fitzgerald has misquoted the DNUM chairman's
words which leads to subsequent misinterpretation. We would like to make the following
clarification by quoting Mr. Ieng Sary's written interview of May 20, 1997 with Mr.
Francois Gerles of Cambodge Soir: "In case the losing parties refuse to recognize
the people's verdict and enter into dissent, the DNUM will not the hestitate to join
its forces to those of the winning party in order to restore the legality. We appeal
to everyone to abide by the Kingdom's institutions and laws and to make them respected."
The State institutions, such as first of all the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces,
must be independent from any political party, including DNUM, which is also a political
– Suong Sikoeun, Spokesman,
Democratic National Union Movement, Pailin.
(Editor replies: According to the official translation of the interview,
Mr Ieng Sary was asked the question 'Will you point the gun to fight the [election]
loser who keeps power by force?.' He replied: 'If necessary we will... if the election
results are fair and the losing party does not hand over power to the winner.
We acknowledge that the words 'we will have to the point gun in Mr Sary's published
quote should have been in parentheses, as they were taken from the question. We stand
by the accuracy of the article's reflection of Mr Sary's position on the election,
as stated by him in the interview.)