Cambodia’s opposition party threatens more protests

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA – It’s been just over a week since Cambodians cast their vote in the national election, and a definitive result remains elusive.

Both the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) have claimed victory, and both parties have said that they welcome an investigation into allegations of irregularities at polling stations such as people not able to find their names on the electoral roll, or being told that they had already voted.

While the CPP says it is happy for an investigation to take place, it is refusing to go along with the CNRP’s insistence that the United Nations be a part of the investigative process.

Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng has said that involving the UN would be a violation of Cambodian law.

Meanwhile, the CNRP held a rally in Freedom Park in Phnom Penh on Tuesday to thank its supporters and let them know the party will continue to fight for change in Cambodia. Despite rumours of a police crackdown, several thousand people gathered to hear CNRP president Sam Rainsy and party deputy leader Kem Sokha speak. Police presence was very small, and the rally remained incident-free.


A Cambodian National Rescue Party supporter showing cards printed with the party’s logo and photograph of Kem Sokha and Sam Rainsy.


One of thousands of CNRP supporters in Freedom Park.


CNRP president Sam Rainsy addressing the crowd in Freedom Park.


CNRP deputy leader Kem Sokha takes to the microphone at the Freedom Park rally.


Part of the thousands-strong crowd gathered in Freedom Park.


CNRP MP Mu Sochua greeting the crowd towards the end of the rally.


A CNRP supporter in high spirits during the rally.



Cambodian government and opposition rallies in Phnom Penh

Opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sohka of the Cambodian National Rescue Party arrived in Phnom Penh on Friday and held a rally in Freedom Park.


Meanwhile, supporters of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party were near Independence Monument, conducting a rally/street party of their own.


Cambodian National Rescue Party campaigns in Battambang

BATTAMBANG, CAMBODIA – the main opposition party, the Cambodian National Rescue Party, has been campaigning vigorously since party leader Sam Rainsy returned from a four-year self-imposed exile last Friday.


Cambodian National Rescue Party leader Sam Rainsy addressing supporters at a rally in Battambang.


Kem Sokha, Sam Rainsy and Mu Sochua


A section of the huge crowd gathered near Psar Nath to hear Sam Rainsy speak.


CNRP supporters listening to Sam Rainsy.


Kem Sokha and Sam Rainsy



Young CNRP supporters on the roadside in provincial Battambang.


Young CNRP supporters who were part of the rally.


Young CNRP supporters who were part of the rally.


Young CNRP supporters who were part of the rally.


Young CNRP supporters who were part of the rally.

Mr Rainsy along with high-level party members Mr Kem Sokha and Ms Mu Sochua, have embarked on a rapid journey through many of Cambodia’s provincial centres before the election this Sunday.

On July 23, the convoy stopped in Battambang and drew a large crowd.

After Mr Rainsy spoke to the supporters massed outside Psar Nath, the convoy travelled through the countryside to spread its message of change for Cambodia.

Mr Rainsy left Cambodia in 2009 after being found guilty of charges brought against him by the Prime Minister, Mr Hun Sen. The charges, connected with the moving of border markers between Cambodia and Vietnam, are believed by many to be politically motivated.

Last July, the Human Rights Party led by Kem Sokha merged with the Sam Rainsy Party to form the Cambodian National Rescue Party.

Earlier this month, Mr Hun Sen petitioned for a royal pardon to be issued for Mr Rainsy so he could return to Cambodia and campaign for his party.

Because he was found guilty of criminal charges, Mr Rainsy was made ineligible to contest a seat in the election. Despite petitions to have Mr Rainsy’s name reinstated, he will not be permitted to run for his own party.

The ruling party, the Cambodian People’s Party, headed by Mr Hun Sen, is expected to win the polls on Sunday. The party has been in government since 1985.