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Opposition Plans Mass Gathering as Kem Sokha to Appear in Court


Cambodia's main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party Deputy President and National Assembly Deputy President Kem Sokha, center, speaks to reporters outside the Phnom Penh Municipality Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, April 8, 2015.

Cambodia's main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party Deputy President and National Assembly Deputy President Kem Sokha, center, speaks to reporters outside the Phnom Penh Municipality Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, April 8, 2015.

Kem Sokha is due in court on Friday for questioning after missing a previous court date, where he was due to be questioned in a sex scandal case.

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has planned a mass gathering of its supporters in the capital on Friday, the same day that its deputy leader, Kem Sokha, is due to appear in court.

A CNRP official said the gathering had been approved by the municipality, but officials also said they plan to erect barriers to prevent opposition supporters marching on the city center.

Morn Phalla, director of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party’s executive committee, said the authorities had said the meeting could go ahead if traffic was not disrupted and security forces policing the gathering were not abused.

“We also called for cooperation because the road is narrow and there are a lot of commuters and participants. Hence, there is a possibility of slight traffic congestion. However, it will not lead to a complete stalemate. We will try to run the event as smoothly as possible while at the same time making it easy for people to commute,” he said.

Mean Chanyada, a City Hall spokesman, said the number of people due to attend was “not a concern”, but cautioned the CNRP against “gathering on the sidewalk”.

Am Sam Ath, technical supervisor at local rights group Licadho, said that traffic jams were more likely to be caused by the “complete road blockades by the authorities”.

Sokha is due in court on Friday for questioning after missing a previous court date, where he was due to be questioned in a sex scandal case.

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