Abdication by Cambodia's King Throws His Nation Into Confusion

Tired, frustrated and sick, King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia said yesterday that he would give up the throne he has held, off and on, for more than half a century, throwing his nation into confusion and doubt. In statements posted on his Web site, faxed to his inner circle and read on Cambodian television, the king, who is in Beijing, said, “I can no longer continue my mission and activities as king and head of state to serve the needs of the nation.” The king, a constitutional monarch, has threatened to abdicate repeatedly over the years, and his son, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, who is speaker of the National Assembly, said, “We still hope that tomorrow or the day after tomorrow the king will agree to be the king again.” Group Profile

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