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The Gecko: 01 August, 2003

The Gecko: 01 August, 2003

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Around three dozen journalists all herded obligingly to the Inter-Conn Hotel at 4pm

on Monday, July 28 to attend a press conference organized by the "CPP",

especially since the Ministry of Information had announced the event.

They waited with bated breath for the latest statement from the victorious ruling

party only to discover that "CPP" meant something like "Committee

for Peace and Prosperity"--an alleged NGO run by a guy named Issei Inoue who

was touting his latest book.

It appears Mr Inoue-san was as shocked as the journalists by the mix-up, and when

he saw the hungry press pack licking their chops decided to grab the copies of his

book and split.

-- And then there was the Funcie/SRP press conference at the Cambodiana on July 29

when both parties [again] announced [again] they were rejecting [again] the election

results [again].

A French reporter walked up to an American one and asked with a weary shake of his

head: "How do you say 'Déjà vu' in English?"

"We use 'Déjà vu' with no regrets or apologies," said the

Yank. "And by the way, how do you say 'email' in French?"

And there may be some cracks in the new SRP/Funcie alliance. At the same press conference,

one veteran SRP activist buttonholed an expat reporter and said: "Why don't

you ask Funcinpec how much it will take to buy them off this time around?"

-- World famous French diplomat Franck "Talleyrand" Gellet is back in town

for a brief stint, after wrestling with London, Algiers and Paris in recent years.

Zut alors!

-- Mr Hang Dara of the Hang Dara Democratic Movement Party wins this year's award

for the most imaginative electoral violation.

No dangling chads for this creative Houdini. He argues instead that the CPP somehow

put a special chemical on the ballot papers so that when people voted for his party

the mark mysteriously moved to the box for the CPP.

Scientists are scratching their heads on this one, but Dara remains determined and

says he will take his complaint all the way to the top.

-- So-called reliable sources say that after the dust settles Chea Sophara may end

up at the Ministry of Rural Development, Keat Chhon will not [immediately] step down

as Minister of Finance, and there will be some back channel tussles over Ke Kim Yan's

job.

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