Parties competing in Sunday's election took advantage of the
final day of the campaign season Friday, with marches, parades and motorcades in
the capital and the provinces.
Thousands of supporters rallied around their parties, waving
flags, sporting shirts and caps and taking one last shot at drawing
voters to the polls.
The Cambodian People's Party is widely expected to dominate
the election Sunday, but other parties continued to campaign Friday, battling
for their share of the 123 National Assembly seats up for grabs.
In Phnom Penh,
supporters of the CPP, Sam Rainsy, Human Rights, Funcinpec and Norodom
Ranariddh parties moved around town in trucks and on foot, banging drums,
shouting slogans and blaring loud theme music.
CPP officials said they gathered nearly 30,000 supporters,
led by Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema, who called out to supporters: "A
vote for CPP is a vote for development and poverty reduction" and
"Vote for the CPP for a prosperous future for children and youth."
His calls were met with cries from the crowd: "Long
live the CPP for the country of Cambodia!"
The Sam Rainsy Party meanwhile gathered nearly 10,000
supporters in a march through the city.
The opposition leader, who was campaigning in Kampong Cham
Friday, recorded remarks to be broadcast to supporters through loudspeakers.
"Hun Sen now does not resolve the high price of goods,"
Sam Rainsy said. "If Hun Sen continues to lead Cambodia, goods will increase in
Activists shouted, "Vote for the Sam Rainsy Party to
decrease the high price of goods, to have a proper job, and [medical] treatment
The Human Rights Party estimated 8,000 supporters joined in
marches around the capital. Before marching, the top leaders of the party,
including its president, Kem Sokha, addressed a crowd of supporters.
"Vote for the Human Rights Party to change the current
leadership," Kem Sokha said. "Vote to change the leader of
toad-stepping policies and the leader of corruption."
Supporters shouted back, "Vote for the Human Rights
Party for change, change, change."
"You change?" supporters called to each other.
"We change, we change," came the response.
The self-named party of exiled Prince Norodom Ranariddh was
able to gather 4,000 supporters in Phnom
Penh, officials estimated.
"Party No. 1 helps the nation," called Muth
Chantha, a Phnom Penh
candidate for the party, referring to his NRP's position on Sunday's ticket.
"The absence of Prince Norodom Ranariddh has not made
us defeated before the betrayers," Muth Chantha said. "On 27 July we
will vote for Prince Norodom Ranariddh."
Funcinpec, meanwhile, estimated 3,000 supporters in the
Secretary-General Nhiek Bunchhay, who is a candidate for
Battambang province, said in a recorded message a "vote for Funcinpec is a
vote for development and for the king and for security for human rights and the
rule of law."