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Opposition Says Demonstrations Possible if Negotiations Fail

Sam Rainsy, front center, the head of the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) waves to the crowd before entering Phnom Penh Municipality Court in Phnom Penh, file photo.
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy says he is prepared to call for more mass demonstrations if negotiations over election reform fail with the ruling party.

Speaking to reporters from Australia, where he is traveling, the president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party said he was willing to find points of negotiation with the Cambodian People’s Party.

But he also had not ruled out the possibility of more demonstrations “to find justice for voters,” he said.

Both sides are in talks to reform the election process, following July 2013 elections the opposition says were marred with fraud.

The opposition has boycotted the new government in the wake of the elections and had held anti-government demonstrations, leading to violent clashes with police and culminating in a deadly crackdown and arrests in January.

Chheang Von, a ruling party negotiator, said the CPP “has not closed the door to negotiations with the CNRP.” But he said Sam Rainsy will be “responsible for history” if he leads another mass rally.