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OPPOSITION: HRP to raise possibility of SRP merger

OPPOSITION
The Human Rights Party is set to hold a press conference today to discuss the prospect of merging with the Sam Rainsy Party, a goal the parties announced in January 2009. HRP spokesman Yem Ponharith said Sunday that little progress had been made towards making the goal a reality, and called on the leaders of both parties to have “an open mind” during future negotiations. “For us, the definition of an alliance is to create something new,” he said. “It does not mean that one party will defect to the other one.” HRP President Kem Sokha said in October that he was awaiting a response from the SRP regarding three conditions the HRP laid out for a possible merger: a term limit for the party president, a change in the new party’s name and joint decision-making between officials from the two sides. SRP spokesman Yim Sovann could not be reached for comment on Sunday. SRP leaders have said previously that they were open to the idea of a merger but lacked sufficient time to iron out the details.

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