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Opposition Threatens To Withdraw form Political Negotiations

Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy of the Cambodia National Rescue Party wearing a helmet arrives for a rally in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, file photo.
Opposition officials said Thursday they could pull out of political negotiations once again due to intimidation by the ruling party.

Cambodia National Rescue Party officials say they have faced continued intimidation during meetings with supporters in the provinces, where members of the police and military police exercise a show of force aimed at opposition rallies.

Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy said Thursday negations cannot take place “at gun point.”

The opposition has boycotted the formation of a government since election in July, which it says were marred by fraud. Negotiations over election reform restarted earlier this week.

At a press conference Thursday, Sam Rainsy showed video of policemen and military police surrounding a pagoda in Prey Veng province, where the opposition was holding a rally.

In the video, police blared loud music to disrupt the meeting. Kem Sokha, Rescue Party vice president, said one of the police then began loading his gun to further intimidate opposition supporters.

“We cannot negotiate under these circumstances,” Sam Rainsy said.