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Parties gear up for elections

Parties gear up for elections

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Prince Norodom Ranariddh campaigned in Prey Veng province yesterday for his party, which shares his name. Photograph: supplied

After high-profile campaign drives through the capital on Friday, Cambodia’s competing political parties took their crusade to the commune level over the weekend.

Sam Kuntheamy, monitoring coordinator for the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free Elections in Cambodia, said the parties were already being very active in the provinces at the grassroots level.

“The information I have received is that everything is going smoothly, peacefully, but we are only two days in,” Sam Kuntheamy said.

“In the provinces, we see that the CPP is very active, and other parties like the Sam Rainsy Party, the Human Rights Party and Funcinpec are still a bit quiet in the communes,” Sam Kuntheamy said.

Former UNTAC-era prime minister Prince Norodom Ranarridh journeyed to Prey Veng province’s Preah Sdech district on Saturday where he met with more than 1,000 villagers and Norodom Ranarridh Party supporters in a bid to garner votes in the upcoming commune elections on June 3.

NRP spokesman Pen Sangha said that despite his royal lineage, the prince was not using the name of King Father Norodom Sihanouk as part of his campaign propaganda.

Cheam Yeap, a member of the central committee for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, said his party has 5,570,000 members in total, but wasn’t sure how many of these were involved in the campaign.

“Compared to other parties at the campaign, we observed that the CPP campaign is bigger and with more supporters,” he said yesterday.

Yim Sovann, spokesman for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, said the SRP has about 700,000 supporters and during the weekend campaign tens of thousands of party supporters had joined the nationwide campaign.

“We are propagandising our main party policy, and we have raised social unjust issues to make the people aware and to make them change the current leader,” he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kim Yuthana at [email protected]
Bridget Di Certo at [email protected]

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