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Cambodian Prince to Urge King Not to Step Down - 2004-10-08

The son of Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk says he plans to travel to China to urge his father not to step down.

Prince Norodom Ranariddh says he will fly Saturday to Beijing, where his father is currently staying in self-imposed exile and is said to be undergoing medical treatment.

King Sihanouk's decision to abdicate was made public Thursday by his son, who read a letter from his father to Cambodia's National Assembly.

Meanwhile, Cambodian lawmakers are expected to vote Friday on legislation to establish a panel to find a successor to King Sihanouk.

Under Cambodia's constitution, a nine-member "throne council" is charged with picking the next king, who must be more than 30 years old and come from one of three royal lineages.