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New Opposition Enjoying Wider Support, Analyst Says

Opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha in VOA Studio In Washington, DC.
PHNOM PENH - The large show of support for a new opposition party could mean more seats after July’s election, a leading analyst says.

The Cambodia National Rescue Party held a congress last weekend attended by some 10,000 activists, in a display widespread support, the analyst, Lao Mong Hay told VOA Khmer.

The party combines lawmakers from the Sam Rainsy and Human Rights parties, which together hold just 29 of 123 Assembly seats. Its supporters hope the wider reach of the party will bring in more seats in the July 28 national elections.

Lao Mong Hay said parts of the party’s platform, including higher salaries for civil servants, as well as pensions, could resonate with voters.

Yim Sovann, a spokesman for the party, agreed, saying the higher salaries and pensions are possible, but Cambodia’s leadership must change. More rights and freedoms, and decreased corruption are also main tenets of the party’s philosophy, he said.

However, government spokesman Phay Siphan said the opposition’s positions amount only to promises, while the ruling Cambodian People’s Party has already set a strategy to help the country out of poverty.