Election Campaigning Gears Up in Northwest

battambang – The battle for Cambodia’s votes hit the northwest Thursday as the three main parties stepped up their presence in the region.

Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh claimed an audience of 20,000 supporters at a rally in Mong Russei district here, although independent sources put the figure at 1,000.

Interior co-Minister Sar Kheng, meanwhile, continued his bid for a National Assembly seat from Battambang, attending a ceremony to mark the beginning of the rainy season. The top CPP candidate for the province handed out food to 1,000 monks, a party official said.

Sam Rainsy Party supporters in Battambang were preparing for a visit by their president today. Sam Rainsy will address a rally in town this morning before heading to Pailin as part of his whistle stop tour of the region.

The prince was waved off to his next campaign stop by a crowd of about 200 at Battam­bang’s airport Thursday afternoon.

“Everybody is very enthusiastic,” the prince said as he boarded the plane to Siem Reap, adding that he did not plan to meet his father, King Norodom Sihanouk, during his visit there.

“That can wait until after the election,” he added.

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