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HunSenPec

Prime Minister Hun Sen announced August 11 that the Cambodian People's Party (CPP)

and Funcinpec plan to formalize their alliance before the 2008 national elections

in order to strengthen their partnership in the coalition government.

Hun Sen stopped short of describing the strengthened alliance as a political merger.

The comments were part of a speech given in Bavet to launch a special economic zone

on the Cambodia-Vietnam border.

The PM said that the alliance between the CPP and Funcinpec will create confidence

for investors and the tourism industry, because they would no longer have to worry

about political crises harming their businesses.

A stronger alliance would also help both CPP and Funcinpec gain more votes, Hun Sen

said.

Chea Chanboribo, Funcinpec spokesman, said he welcomed the idea of the CPP leader

and described the alliance as a key to further development of the country.

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