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UPDATED: 19:01, April 19, 2007
Cambodian Prince Ranariddh asks to join general election in 2008
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Cambodian Prince Norodom Ranariddh, son of retired king Norodm Sihanouk, said on Thursday that he should be allowed to join the general election in July 2008.

"I do hope the international donors to help me go back to Cambodia to join the general election next year," he said from Malaysia in an interview with a local radio in Phnom Penh.

"There will be no neutrality, liberty, democracy and political pluralism, if the Cambodian government doesn't allow him to return for it," he said.

Last month, the prince was sentenced 18 months in jail and ordered to compensate 150,000 U.S. dollars to the co-ruling Funcinpec Party for he pocketed the money from selling the party's headquarters when he still presided it.

The sentence has deprived him of any political rights unless he serves two-thirds of his term.

Ranariddh was ousted from Funcinpec in October 2006 and later turned to establish the Norodom Ranariddh Party (NRP).

NRP ranked as the third largest party of the country, according to the preliminary turnout of the local election held on April 1.

Source: Xinhua

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