World Food Prize Ambassador Quinn
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THE ARCHIVE OF AMBASSADOR KENNETH M. QUINN
FROM THE MISSISSIPPI TO THE MEKONG
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A Late-Night Call to Save Democracy in Cambodia

26/7/98

Amb. Quinn describes how in 1998 the Cambodian election offered a chance to help unite the country. Many outside eyes would be on Cambodia to see if it would truly be a free and fair election. Amb. Quinn tells of how there were meetings with King Sihanouk to allow other royalists like Prince Ranariddh into the country and run for office. King Sihanouk was unsure about the decision and the meetings had reached a stalemate. Amb. Quinn decided to plead with the King to have him pledge his word towards the safety of the opposing politicians reentering Cambodia. King Sihanouk agrees and Amb. Quinn quickly relays the message to Prince Ranariddh, and the Prince flies back to Phnom-Penh. After a long voting process, the Cambodian People’s Party wins by a split vote. Late that night, Prince Sam Rainsy bursts into the Ministry of the Interior worried about the integrity of the election. Amb. Quinn gest a call from Rainsy’s wife about the situation and he quickly springs into action.   

© 2020 World Food Prize Ambassador Quinn. All rights reserved.