King Norodom Sihanouk has announced his intention to return to the country in mid-July-ahead
of the ballot-and host a pre-election dinner for political leaders and election administrators.
A royal source said he would likely return on July 14.
In a July 2 letter to the Post, the King promised to return to his homeland from
July until December. He wrote that he would then likely go back to Beijing for further
He told of his plans on his return: "On Thursday 24 July 2003, the Queen and
I will offer at the Royal Palace a 'family' dinner in honor of the presidents of
the NEC and the political parties participating in the general election of 27 July
2003 and their respective wives or husbands.
"Every one of these presidents will be able to represent themselves at the royal
dinner ... But my wife and I will not speak about 'politics' during the whole meeting
with these distinguished gentlemen and ladies.
"We will listen to music and singing by our young artists."
He also stated that his presence would not act "as any intervention in the affairs
of the NEC, the political parties" or the government. He ended his letter with
the hope that the "very important elections" would be peaceful, free and