PHNOM PENH —
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy says he will gather a “people’s congress” of thousands of supporters in the middle of the capital on Saturday.
The president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party told reporters he had already filed a request with city officials to hold the gathering at Freedom Park.
Prior to that, opposition officials will meet in front of the old National Assembly building, to mark the anniversary of a deadly grenade attack on March 30, 1997, he said. Sixteen people were killed and more than 100 injured in that attack, on an opposition rally.
Sam Rainsy said he was not closing the door to political negations with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. But he said the “people’s congress” could see as many as 5,000 participants at Freedom Park. The congress will collect ideas from people on how to reform the National Election Committee, he said.
City spokesman Long Dimanche said officials will meet with Rescue Party leaders on Thursday to discuss the gathering.
However, Cheam Yiep, a CPP lawmaker, told VOA Khmer a congress “is not a solution.” The gathering was “only the politics of the opposition party,” he said.