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Rights Party Stumping a Success, Leader Says

Kem Sokha, the former director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, said Wednesday he received a swell of support for his new Human Rights Party from Cambodians living in the US, including students, professors and monks who had never before been involved in politics.

The rights advocate turned politician returned to Cambodia recently after a trip across the US that included several stops in California, Washington, DC, and other cities on the eastern coast.

"In general, they support us, and a number of Khmer people who are intellectuals, such as people who have PhDs, who never supported or joined any party, have now decided to support us," Kem Sokha told VOA Khmer in Phnom Penh. "Not only do ordinary people support us, even Buddhist monks say they like our platform, and the Khmer Christians also like our party and support our platform and our party."

A party congress is planned for July to prepare for the 2008 national elections, he said. About 10,000 people were expected to take part, he said.