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King Sihanouk Would Not Return to Cambodia Until There is a New King - 2004-10-08

Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk said in a statement Friday he would not return to Cambodia until Cambodia has chosen a new king.

The news of the king's abdication is a surprise to many Cambodians. Cambodian people have different theories about what led the king to take the action now.

Some said it's an distraction from the Khmer Rouge tribunal. Others said it's because Cambodian politicians could not get along and sue one another constantly.

FUNCINPEC President Norodom Ranariddh said he's leaving for Beijing Saturday to persuade the king to change his mind and stay on the throne.

The Cambodian parliament met on Friday for an emergency session to approve the bill that would create the Throne Council to pick a new king.