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Opposition Agrees to Withdraw Election Slogan After Government Complaints


Journalists wait in front of Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) during the party's meeting, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, May 26, 2016.

The CPP claimed the slogan was “insulting” to CPP commune chiefs and therefore in breach of election rules.

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has scrapped its election slogan following pressure from the government.

Eng Chhay Eang, one of three newly appointed CNRP deputy presidents, said the slogan, which called on the electorate to replace commune chiefs who “serve the party” with those who “serve the people”, after the ruling Cambodian People’s Party said it broke elections rules.

“The slogan is not important for the election competition. The important thing is the policy platform of the party,” Chhay Eang said.

The slogan was chosen during an extraordinary party congress in March held after the resignation of former president Sam Rainsy under legal pressure. Kem Sokha, the former deputy leader, was chosen to replace Rainsy, who had led the party since its formation in 2012.

The CPP claimed the slogan was “insulting” to CPP commune chiefs and therefore in breach of election rules.

Sok Eysan, CPP spokesman, said the withdrawal of the slogan was “very welcome” and would help to reduce tensions ahead of the election on June 4.

In an apparent compromise, the new leadership of the CNRP will remain in place, despite a challenge from the CPP, which claimed the CNRP had broken its own internal rules by holding the extraordinary congress.

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