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Ruling Party Supporters Disrupt Opposition Forum

Kem Sokha, vice president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party talks during a demonstration in Phnom Penh, (Heng Reaksmey/VOA Khmer).
PHNOM PENH - Opposition officials say two forums organized by the party outside of Phnom Penh were interrupted by local ruling party supporters with a loudspeaker on Tuesday.

At least 200 members of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party showed up at the forums in Kandal province, interrupting public discussions held by the Cambodia National Rescue Party, opposition lawmaker Chan Cheng told VOA Khmer.

“They marched and shouted at the forum to disturb people, who couldn’t hear anything,” he said.

The public forum had been organized so that opposition leaders, including Rescue Party Vice President Kem Sokha, could talk with constituents in Kandal province.

When the forum ended, Kem Sokha’s vehicle was blocked by 10 vehicles of the CPP supporters, though no clash ensued, Chan Cheng said. The disturbance was reported to local authorities, but nothing was done about it, he said.

Local police declined to comment on the interruption.

Kem Sokha told VOA Khmer the act showed concern by ruling party supporters over the popularity of the opposition.

Meanwhile, in a speech delivered in Pursat province, Prime Minister Hun Sen said he had been informed of the interruption and he called on Cambodians to avoid violence ahead of the July 27 election.