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Former King Asked to Remain in Cambodia for Elections

Former king Norodom Sihanouk can keep national elections stable if he is not abroad during polls next year, a royalist said Tuesday.

The king, who turns 85 soon, has said he will return to Beijing for medical treatment following Cambodia's annual Water Festival, typically held in November.

But the former king's presence could mean peaceful elections, Muth Chantha, spokesman for the Norodom Ranariddh Party said Tuesday.

Sihanouk's presence "during the July 2008 election will be very important to keep the trust and political stability," Muth Chantha said.