Opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha on Monday visited supporters in Kandal province to encourage locals there to ensure that momentum behind opposition demonstrations over the contested national election result continues.
Thousands of people turned out in Vihear Suor commune, Khsach Kandal’s district, where Mr. Rainsy and Mr. Sokha appealed to supporters to join three days of demonstrations planned from Sunday onward, according to Eang Chhay Eang, who was elected as a lawmaker for the CNRP in the province.
Mr. Chhay Eang claimed that about 20,000 opposition supporters heard the CNRP leaders promote the demonstration—about the same number that turned out to Saturday’s day-of-prayer protest in Phnom Penh—following the National Election Committee’s ratification of election results handing victory to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s CPP on Sunday.
Mr. Rainsy “appealed to people to join the nonviolent mass demonstration to find justice and truth for the voters,” said Mr. Chhay Eang, adding that the CPP’s unwillingness to properly investigate alleged irregularities during the election left the CNRP with little choice but to hold more protests.
Mr. Rainsy said Monday’s event was designed to promote the importance of the next demonstration and make sure the CNRP keeps in touch with its supporters.
“Actually, we listened to them as much as they talked to us, and they told us to make sure we don’t accept the results of the NEC and don’t give in,” he said.
“We asked: ‘Are you willing to participate?’ and they said ‘Yes!’ and then they started making preparations of food and equipment for the three day sit-in,” he said.
The CNRP released a statement Monday stating that party supporters had been donated 68 million riel, about $17,000, 2,200 Thai baht, or about $68, and $27,521 as well as 5,000 packs of water containing six bottles each between September 1 and September 7 ahead of the three days of demonstrations.
Mr. Rainsy and Mr. Sokha will meet with vendors at Phnom Penh’s O’Russei market this morning before meeting with King Norodom Sihamoni on Wednesday, and traveling to Siem Reap, Battambang and Pursat provinces later in the week.