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Ruling, Opposition Rallies Clash in Poipet

A rally of Cambodian People's and Sam Rainsy supporters clashed in a Thai border town Saturday but no violence ensued, party officials told VOA.

The collision occurred in Poipet, in Bantey Meanchy province, as opposition leader Sam Rainsy led a group of workers, porters and vendors in a rally Saturday morning, only to be met with a group of CPP activists.

"Suddenly, the CPP rally followed us," Sam Rainsy told VOA. "I can say that they walked behind us like a dog, barking behind us. They do not want us to conduct election campaigning in that area."

The CPP rally was led by Poipet Governor San Sean Hor, who told VOA he had pitted his people against Sam Rainsy in an effort to expose the opposition's deceits.

"I want to say that Sam Rainsy's political platform is deceiving us," he said, "especially mister Sam Rainsy himself, who is a leader and a member of parliament."

Only words were exchanged, but even a small clash during the campaign period is illegal, Ly Houng, a monitor for the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, said.

Such incidents could lead to fines under election law, said Tep Nitha, secretary-general of the National Election Committee.