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International Community Watching Cambodia Elections Closely: Opposition Leader


Kem Sokha, CNRP leader during CNRP gathering party at Hai Tien restaurant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A on April 28, 2017. (Seourn Vathana/VOA Khmer)

Sokha remained tight-lipped about policy discussions, saying he does not want to give away his position to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

On a visit to the United States, opposition leader Kem Sokha has told his supporters that the international community is watching political developments in Cambodia closely ahead of elections in June.

He said his team had met with representatives of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Congressional Cambodia Caucus, representatives from U.S. Department of State and National Security Council.

File: Kem Monovithya, Deputy Director-General of Public Affairs of CNRP party and oldest daughter of opposition leader Kem Sokha, poses for a photo at VOA Khmer office in Washington on Monday, November 2, 2015.
File: Kem Monovithya, Deputy Director-General of Public Affairs of CNRP party and oldest daughter of opposition leader Kem Sokha, poses for a photo at VOA Khmer office in Washington on Monday, November 2, 2015.

“This is the first time that we had the opportunity to meet the officials of President Trump’s administration and especially officials from the National Security Council,” said Kem Monovithya, the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s deputy director of public affairs and Sokha’s daughter.

Sokha remained tight-lipped about policy discussions, saying he does not want to give away his position to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

He told a VOA Khmer reporter that he discussed the run up to the election and current threats against his party during the trip.

Several CNRP supporters expressed concern that, should the CNRP win at the ballot box, the CPP would not relinquish.

File: Marie Chea, Cambodian retiree, asks question to President of Cambodia National Rescue Party, Sam Rainsy, during a dinner gathering with Cambodians from DMV area at Harvest Moon restaurant, Virginia, on Thursday Oct 6, 2016.
File: Marie Chea, Cambodian retiree, asks question to President of Cambodia National Rescue Party, Sam Rainsy, during a dinner gathering with Cambodians from DMV area at Harvest Moon restaurant, Virginia, on Thursday Oct 6, 2016.

Marie Chea, 66, a retiree from Virginia, asked a CNRP supporters’ gathering in Fairfax County on Wednesday whether Sokha thought the Hun Sen would step down if he lost the 2018 general election.

Sokha said any transition of power would be difficult, but urged supporters to first focus on winning the election.

CNRP leaders during CNRP gathering party at Hai Tien Restaurant, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A on April 28, 2017. (Seourn Vathana/VOA Khmer)
CNRP leaders during CNRP gathering party at Hai Tien Restaurant, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A on April 28, 2017. (Seourn Vathana/VOA Khmer)

​Thong So, a CNRP official in California, which has the largest Cambodian community in the country, said Sokha would hold a meeting at the La Lune Imperial restaurant. The delegation is due to return to Cambodia on Sunday.

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