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Opposition hails America's 'choice of change' with Obama

A statement from the SRP congratulates US president-elect Barack Obama, while party officials regret a lack of change at home 

THE opposition Sam Rainsy Party on Thursday issued a statement of congratulations to United States President-elect Barack Obama, who defeated John McCain in national polls on Tuesday.

The message was signed by the party's 26 parliamentarians and stated that Obama's victory represented a triumph for democratic values.

"We, the members of Parliament of the Sam Rainsy Party, the leading opposition party in Cambodia, sincerely congratulate you and all Americans living in the United States and abroad for making the choice for change," the statement said.

"Obama's call for change was heard by millions of Americans, and the SRP is confident that actions will be taken in the months ahead to ensure that the message of hope ... will be realised," the statement said.

The statement also expressed solidarity in the cause of promoting human rights.

"Your election in America resonates deeply with the Cambodian people. America leads the world in the promotion of civil liberties, and Cambodia is its partner in this mission," it said.

SRP lawmaker Son Chhay said Thursday Obama was no ordinary politician and could be relied upon to understand the challenges facing Cambodia.

Human Rights Party President Kem Sokha said Thursday that America made history with the election of the country's first black president in an election that saw voters choose change according to their needs.

But he regretted the same was not possible for Cambodia.

"It is unfortunate that the Cambodian people have not been able to vote for the changes they need," he said.

But Cambodian People's Party lawmaker Cheam Yeap responded Thursday that the country has no need of a change in leadership.

"It is normal for us to have the same leader, because the Cambodian people love their leader. Why would we change?" he said.

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