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Cambodia’s Sam Rainsy Says Ruling Party Seeks to Divide Opposition
Cambodia’s opposition leader Sam Rainsy on Thursday accused the country’s ruling party of seeking to undermine its competition ahead of general elections set for 2018 by establishing several smaller parties in a bid to split opposition voters.
Speaking to supporters of his Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in Kampong Speu province, Sam Rainsy said Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodia People’s Party (CPP) was “behind the establishment” of the smaller parties and called for “unity among [the country’s] democrats.”
No party had been able to defeat the CPP over the past 30 years because the country’s nationalists and democrats have remained split, the opposition chief said.
“The CPP knows that if the democrats are united, it will lose,” he said.
“They are establishing smaller parties to split the [opposition] votes.”
Sam Rainsy noted that the royalist Funcinpec party, as well as his former Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) and CNRP Deputy President Kem Sohka’s former Human Rights Party (HRP), had long split the opposition vote, allowing the CPP to sweep national elections.
Since the SRP and HRP merged to become the CNRP in 2012, however, the CPP has faced a significant challenge to its control of the government.
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