INTRODUCTION: The Kampuchean Communist Party, which has remained in the background since the overthrow of the Pol Pot government, is soon expected to emerge from obscurity.
SV President Heng Samrin and members of government walk to voting station at school.
SV INTERIOR School with President and Vice President voting. (2 SHOTS)
SV EXTERIOR National flag raised outside school as children salute. (3 SHOTS)
GV PAN People queueing at polling station.
SV INTERIOR People line to collect ballot papers.
SV PAN People marking their ballot papers.
SV People placing votes in ballot box.
GV Street scene with election banners overhead.
GV Election banners outside shop.
SV Women entering polling station and voting.
SV INTERIOR People voting.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The Kampuchean Communist Party, which has remained in the background since the overthrow of the Pol Pot government, is soon expected to emerge from obscurity. According to a Reuters report on Wednesday (6 May), they will reappear on the political scene when the country's Vietnamese-backed rulers announce a party congress. The recent elections for a National Assembly are expected to be followed by the enforcement of the constitution which firmly establishes the leading role of the party in directing the "revolution". The general election took place on May the 1st, when President Heng Samrin was re-elected with 99.75 per cent of the vote.
SYNOPSIS: President Heng Samrin and his government were installed in Kampuchea after Vietnamese troops occupied the country in January, 1979. The President was returned to office unopposed in the country's first election for five years. He recorded his vote in Phnom Penh, accompanied by his Vice President and Defence Minister Pen Sovan, who was re-elected with 99.75 per cent of the poll. Nearly all of Kampuchea's 3 1/2 million people turned out to cast their votes.
The election has been denounced by Thailand and Kampuchea's other non-Communist neighbours as an attempt to legalise and entrench what they describe as Hanoi's hand-picked rulers. About 200,000 Vietnamese troops have been stationed in Kampuchea since Hanoi-led forces overthrew the radical Khmer Rouge government.
Between 30,000 and 40,000 Chinese-backed Khmer Rouge guerrillas and several smaller non-Communist groups have been keeping up an active resistance to the Vietnamese presence in the country. People in Kampuchea's western provinces were reported to have been prevented from voting by Khmer Rouge shelling and verbal threats over loudspeakers along the Thai-Kampuchean border.
When Kampuchea's National Assembly is convened, it's expected to select a powerful council, whose president will also be supreme commander of the armed forces. The most likely candidate for the post is considered to be Vice President Pen Sovan, who is also general secretary of the Communist party. Pen Sovan is now seen as the most powerful man in Kampuchea's ruling revolutionary council.