Monday, July 4, 2011

Cambodia 'happy' with Thai vote

Monday July 4, 2011
Source: Sky

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon (R) and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong gesture as they arrive for the inauguration ceremony of the Baphuon temple in Siem Reap ... more

Cambodia has welcomed a sweeping election victory in neighbouring Thailand by allies of fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who has strong links with Phnom Penh.

Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said he hoped the new Thai government, led by Thaksin's sister Yingluck Shinawatra, would help resolve a long and sometimes bloody border dispute between the neighbouring countries.

'It's obvious - we cannot hide that we are happy with the Puea Thai Party's victory,' Hor Namhong told reporters in the Cambodian capital on Monday.

'We hope that the new government that will emerge from the Puea Thai Party will resolve problems with Cambodia in a more positive and peaceful way' than the previous government, he said.

The border between the two nations has never been fully demarcated and two episodes of fierce fighting between their armies along the frontier earlier this year left at least 28 people dead.

A major flashpoint is the ancient Preah Vihear temple, with both sides claiming ownership of a small patch of land near the ruins.

Thaksin, who was ousted by the military in a 2006 coup, has close ties with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen who has called him an 'eternal friend'.

He even briefly acted as Cambodia's economics adviser but resigned from the role last August amid much controversy.

The Puea Thai Party - masterminded by Thaksin from his self-exile in Dubai - won 265 seats out of 500 in the lower house on Sunday, the election commission said after the vote count was completed.

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