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Nationalists to join ranks with CNRP

Yet another political merger is set to take place after leaders of the Nationalist Party, born of a complicated series of mergers and splits, announced yesterday that the party will join the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party.

At the CNRP’s one-year birthday celebrations yesterday, president Sam Rainsy gave a very public welcome to NP president Pheng Heng and secretary Muth Chantha, whom he said had decided to side with the opposition against Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

“Today, we are very happy to see supporters of democracy from every circle follow [the CNRP’s] political trend and reinforce the [CNRP’s] efforts to merge democratic forces,” he said. Rainsy said the NP, with its 50 commune council members, would help the CNRP in next month’s council elections.

A formal merger, however, will not take place until elected NP councillors have served their current terms.

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