Sihanouk, the traditional ruler of Cambodia who has served as head of state for various factions in the past, said that everyone in Cambodia wants peace but that "a peace without 100% independence was not acceptable." This was an obvious reference to Vietnam, which now props up the [Hun Sen] government by keeping 140,000 troops in Cambodia.
Sihanouk also made it clear that any future political system of Cambodia would have to absorb the Khmer Rouge in some way. In their three years in power, the Khmer Rouge, headed by Pol Pot, ran one of the most tyrannical and murderous regimes in world history. Their atrocities provided the Vietnamese with an excuse for invading Cambodia at the end of 1978.
The Khmer Rouge now make up two-thirds of the Sihanouk coalition's rebel force of 60,000, and Sihanouk implied that he believed they would be no threat if they returned to Phnom Penh as a minority element in a democratic, French-style, multiparty political system. Likening the Khmer Rouge to Jean Marie Le Pen, the extreme rightist leader in France, Sihanouk said, "It would not matter if there were a Khmer Le Pen."