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Activist: Disunity Could Doom Small Parties

Small parties allied against the ruling Cambodian People’s Party will be beaten in July’s election if they don’t stand together, a leading rights activist said Friday.

Thun Saray, president of the rights group Adhoc, said that divided parties will divide the votes, helping the CPP win parliamentary seats.

“If other non-CPP political parties cannot make an alliance to participate in the race on a one-on-one basis with the ruling CPP in the coming 2008 election, and if the CPP is able to keep its 47 percent [of parliamentary seats], as in the 2003 election, we will see the CPP get more than their current 73 parliamentarian seats,” Thun Saray said. “Because there were only two parties to receive the remaining seats in the previous election. But now there are four parties.”

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said Friday the statements put the CPP in an inaccurate adversarial light.