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Cambodia opposition chief calls for talks with PM

English.news.cn   2013-12-28 14:00:04            

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy on Saturday called for a negotiation with Prime Minister Hun Sen's ruling party over political dispute since the July's general election. "We'd like to send a message to the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) that it should be the time to meet each other to find a solution to the current political crisis because the issues have become bigger and more complicated," Sam Rainsy, president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), said in a press conference. "I hope that there will be a large-scale talk in early next year, possibly on January 1, 2 or 3," he said, adding that it would be good if the talk could also be attended by representatives of other political parties, civil society organizations, and business community.

Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sar Kheng said the CPP has always welcomed talks with the CNRP.

"For long time, the CPP has stuck to the stance of negotiating with the CNRP. It is the CNRP itself that has irregularly changed its stance," he told reporters at the Phnom Penh International Airport while receiving the return of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen from a visit in Vietnam.

Since Dec. 15, the CNRP has launched a new round of daily protests and led thousands of supporters through streets in capital Phnom Penh to demand Prime Minister Hun Sen's resignation and hold a re-election following allegations of serious irregularities during July's election.

The July poll results showed that the Hun Sen's ruling party won a majority of vote with 68 parliamentary seats against 55 seats for the Sam Rainsy's opposition party, but the opposition refused to accept the outcome and has boycotted parliament since then.

CNRP's vice president Kem Sokha said Saturday that despite a call for talks with the CPP, the party still continues its daily protests, especially a large-scale protest on Sunday, Dec. 29.

In addition to the opposition's anti-government protests, tens of thousands of garment workers have gone on strikes nationwide since Wednesday after the government decided to raise a monthly minimum wage in the garment sector to 95 U.S. dollars from April onwards from the current 80 U.S. dollars, but the pro-opposition trade unions disagreed with the new wage hike and demanded the government to double the wage for the workers from 2014.

On Friday, riot police and protesting workers clashed for a short time at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone, leaving at least 3 police officers and 4 workers injured.

According to Kheng Tito, spokesman for the National Military Police, the clash happened when thousands of striking workers blocked the National Road No. 4 in front of the zone on the outskirts of Phnom Penh and hurled stones at police and factories.

As of Saturday, protesting workers are still blocking the road.

CNRP's president Sam Rainsy, along with his accomplices, has incited striking workers to join his anti-government protests by promising to increase their minimum wage to 160 U.S. dollars if his party comes to power.

Hun Sen said on Dec. 20 that he would neither step down nor call a re-vote because he has done nothing wrong.

Editor: chengyang
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