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Cambodian army voices backing for gov't as protests escalate

English.news.cn   2014-01-03 22:05:50            

PHNOM PENH, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) on Friday voiced its support for Prime Minister Hun Sen's government as anti-government protests have intensified in recent weeks. "The RCAF vows to support the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen in the fifth term government,"the Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

The current government is legitimate since Hun Sen's ruling party won an absolute majority of vote in July's election, the statement said. "Under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen, Cambodia will continue enjoying happiness, peace, development and prosperity," it added.

The statement came after Sam Rainsy, president of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has held a new round of anti-government daily protests since Dec. 15 and has led thousands of supporters in capital Phnom Penh to demand the resignation of Hun Sen and a re-vote.

Since Dec. 25, Sam Rainsy, along with his accomplices, has incited thousands of garment workers to join an anti-government protest by promising to double their minimum wage to 160 U.S. dollars if his party comes to power.

On Friday morning, Cambodian anti-riot police opened fire on hundreds of striking workers blocking a road on the outskirts of the capital, leaving at least four protesters dead and 26 others injured.

The garment sector, the kingdom's largest foreign exchange earner, generated 5 billion U.S. dollars in revenue a year.

The sector comprised 900 garment and shoe factories with about 600,000 workers.

The country has closed all the factories since Wednesday last week after six pro-opposition trade unions led thousands of workers to go on strike demanding the government to double the monthly minimum wage in the garment sector to 160 U.S. dollars from the current 80 U.S. dollars.

Political stalemate in Cambodia continued since disputed July election in which Hun Sen's ruling party won a majority of vote with 68 parliamentary seats against 55 seats for Sam Rainsy's opposition party. The opposition has refused to accept the outcome, claiming widespread voting irregularities and has boycotted parliament since then.

Editor: Tang Danlu
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