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Opposition Parties Sign Into Alliance

The Human Rights and Sam Rainsy parties officially signed into an opposition coalition movement, saying they were confident they would be able to defeat the ruling party in upcoming elections by pushing for changes in national election regulations.

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said he was not surprised by the move, but said he doubted the two parties together would defeat Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party.

The new coalition, called the Political Democratic Movement for Change, was signed by party leaders Kem Sokha and Sam Rainsy Thursday morning.

“Today is a historic day for the Cambodian people, and it is the time for the people to decide to change the leader in Cambodia,” Kem Sokha told reporters. “We will follow democracy and respect the rule of law and counter corruption.”

The movement so far does not have an organizational structure, and technical details would be discussed later, Kem Sokha said.

“We had a plan to form this movement a long time ago,” Sam Rainsy told reporters Thursday. “We appeal to students, civil servants and all people to join with us for change in Cambodia.”

The leaders publicly urged activists from both parties across the country to work together and prepare for commune elections in 2012 and national elections the year after.