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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

11 parties finally approved to join parliamentary election of Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, May 28 (Xinhua) -- The National Election Committee (NEC) of Cambodia confirmed that 11 out of the 12 political parties applying to join the general election on July 27 are eligible to vie for seats at the National Assembly, said a press release received Wednesday.

NEC made the ultimate decision, after the Constitutional Council inspected and rejected the application of the Khmer Popular Society Party, said the committee in its release.

Earlier last week, NEC preliminarily denied the party's application and sent its document to the council for further inspection.

The approved participants included the major ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP), the co-ruling Funcinpec Party, the royalist Norodom Ranariddh Party, as well as the opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) and Human Rights Party.

During the previous general election in 2003, 23 political parties vied with each other for the 123 seats in the Cambodian National Assembly. In that year, CPP led by Prime Minister Hun Senwon 73 seats, Funcinpec 26 seats, and SRP 24 seats.  
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Vietnam reports "UFO" explosion off Cambodia coast

HANOI (Reuters) - An unidentified flying object exploded in mid-air over a southern Vietnamese island, state media said on Wednesday, a day after Cambodia's air force retracted a report of a mysterious plane crash.

The Vietnam News Agency said residents of Phu Quoc island, 10 km (6 miles) off the coast of the Cambodian province of Kampot, found shards of grey metal, including one 1.5 meters (1.5 yards) long.

"The explosion happened at about 8 km (5 miles) above the ground, and perhaps it was a plane, but authorities could not identify whether it was a civil or military aircraft," VNA said in a report headlined "UFO explodes over Phu Quoc Island."

Soldiers were sent out to look for wreckage and survivors, and local authorities contacted airlines in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, but received no reports of missing aircraft, the official state news agency added.

Villagers in Kampot said on Tuesday that they had heard a loud explosion. On Wednesday they told Reuters they had found small chunks of metal near the coastline.

Kung Mony, deputy commander of Cambodia's Air Force, said on Tuesday he had been told of a foreign plane crashing in Kampot province, but later backed off his claims of an aircraft accident.

(Writing by Grant McCool and Ed Cropley in Bangkok; Editing by Bill Tarrant)

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