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Party Leaders To Cement Political Deal Before King

Sam Rainsy CNRP leader (3rd from left) and Hun sen CCP (first from right) leader at meeting on Tuesday July 22 2014.

Top leaders from the ruling party and opposition will meet with King Norodom Sihamoni later this week, to cement a political agreement that ended a yearlong impasse on Monday.

Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead the Cambodian People’s Party to join a delegation led by Sam Rainsy, president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, in Thursday’s ceremony, which will then lead to the opposition’s swearing in of 55 lawmakers-elect at the National Assembly, on Friday.

Rescue Party Vice President Kem Sokha said Wednesday that both parties will report to the king concerning the political deal they reached Monday.

That deal included a new way of forming the National Election Committee, a revamping of voter registration lists, and an agreement to allow the Rescue Party the No. 2 seat in the National Assembly.

It came following last week’s arrest of seven lawmakers-elect, following violent clashes between Rescue Party supporters and Phnom Penh security guards outside Freedom Park, where a ban on public assembly is strictly enforced.

The deal did include the release of the Rescue Party members, on bail, though they still face charges of insurrection and incitement of violence, which carry penalties of up to 30 years in prison.

The Rescue Party had boycotted the National Assembly following July 2013 elections, which it said was marred by irregularities and fraud. The party then fought for political reforms, including the NEC, which is widely viewed as biased to the CPP.