Cambodian opposition leader threatens protests over poll irregularities


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The Independent Online

The Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy has told thousands of supporters that his party will stage massive protests around the country unless an independent committee begins investigating alleged irregularities in last month’s election.

Monday’s rally of more than 10,000 people in the capital Phnom Penh took place as time is beginning to run out for a compromise over the results of the 28 July polls, which are being challenged by Sam Rainsy’s Cambodia National Rescue Party.

Official results give Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cambodian People Party 68 National Assembly seats against 55 for the Cambodia National Rescue Party. Mr Rainsy says his party would have won 63 seats if the election was fair.

The state National Election Committee is expected to ratify the results by 8 September. Mr Rainsy said the protests would be held before the ratification unless an independent committee to scrutinise the election process is established.

Hun Sen moved troops and armoured vehicles into the capital after the opposition first threatened protests several weeks ago, sparking fears of violent clashes. Mr Sen has been in power for 28 years.