The opposition CNRP has decided to move a mass demonstration to mark International Human Rights Day on December 10 from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap City, the party’s deputy president Kem Sokha said on Saturday.
The CNRP will also hold mass demonstrations every Sunday at Freedom Park in Phnom Penh starting December 15, Mr. Sokha announced.
Speaking to villagers in Kompong Cham province alongside CNRP President Sam Rainsy, Mr. Sokha said that the decision was made to prevent the CPP from using the opposition’s plans as an excuse to derail other rallies planned for the day.
“The civil society groups are now asking for legal approval to demonstrate, and we do not want to interfere [and give] the CPP and authorities an excuse” to repress the rallies, Mr. Sokha says in a video of one of the stopovers in the province uploaded to the CNRP’s website.
Mr. Rainsy said that CNRP leaders were considering leading a march on December 10 from their demonstration in Siem Reap City to Angkor Wat.
“The march could be from downtown to Angkor Wat or vice versa. We have not decided, but Siem Reap is a lot smaller than Phnom Penh so it will be easier to do,” Mr. Rainsy said.
The CNRP’s demonstration will demand both an inquiry into the shooting death of a bystander at a garment factory protest two weeks ago and an independent investigation into allegations of serious fraud and irregularities during the July 28 national election.
Mr. Rainsy said Sunday that after the first rally in Siem Reap, the series of Sunday demonstrations planned for Phnom Penh could be hosted in various provinces as well.
While the CNRP’s Human Rights Day rally has now been moved to Siem Reap, Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, has said he will march 5,000 workers through the capital to mark the day.
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