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Local authorities to let awning at opposition HQ stand after talks

Supporters gather at CNRP headquarters in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district last week where a retractable awning was installed to protect supporters from the elements.
Supporters gather at CNRP headquarters in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district last week where a retractable awning was installed to protect supporters from the elements. Hong Menea

Local authorities to let awning at opposition HQ stand after talks

A commune official in the capital’s Meanchey district said an awning at the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s headquarters will not be removed after a party lawmaker reached out to the authorities.

Keo Savoeun, commune chief for Chak Angre Leu, said the building’s awning on National Road 2, which officials had claimed was “illegal”, hadn’t been removed yet after lawmaker Ho Vann met with authorities to discuss their objections.

“He [Ho Vann] has contacted the authorities, therefore we cannot go to remove it because he was willing to communicate with the authorities,” he said.

The CNRP had about 300 supporters congregate at party headquarters last Tuesday – the day acting party leader Kem Sokha was scheduled to appear before the municipal court over widely criticised charges – following which Meanchey district authorities sent the party a notice to remove the awning or else action would be taken. In the statement, dated July 14, authorities had told the party “to remove the canvas [awning] that has been built illegally”.

Savoeun added that the order was not meant to target the CNRP, saying that if that were the case, the district authorities would not allow the party to park cars around the building or help regulate traffic during such demonstrations.

Neither Vann nor party spokesman Yim Sovann could be reached yesterday.

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