Prince, Sam Rainsy To Travel to Europe, US

Opposition party leader Sam Rainsy and Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh will travel together to the US and several European countries to discuss their two-party alliance with top officials in those countries, Sam Rainsy said Sunday.

The party leaders will travel in early September to Germany, Belgium, France and the US to “seek support for the Alliance of Democrats with high-ranking officials” from the US and with officials from the European Com­mis­sion, he said.

“We want to discuss how Cam­bodia will move to a two-party political system” with the CPP and the Alliance of Democrats, which is composed of the royalists and the opposition party, Sam Rainsy said. He added that he and the prince will meet with  Republican and Democratic party leaders in the US.

The decision to travel abroad follows meetings between the two leaders and US Ambassador Charles Ray and Japanese Am­bas­sador Gotaro Ogawa.

Sam Rainsy met with Ray on July 31, Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian Tioulong Saumura said Sunday. Ray gave Sam Rain­sy a copy of the US State Depart­ment’s statement on the elections, she said.

“The US urges the government to respect the right of the people to assemble peacefully and express their views and grievances and this right to peaceful ex­pression of views extends to po­litical parties as well,” the statement, dated July 31, reads.

Ray met with Prince Ranariddh on Thursday and expressed the need for any election-related disputes to be settled in a nonviolent manner, Funcinpec spokesman Kassie Neou was quoted as saying by Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

Prince Ranariddh and Sam Rainsy also met separately with Ogawa last week, the ambassador and party officials said Sunday.

Meanwhile, CPP President Chea Sim on Friday released a statement praising the provisional NEC election results, which showed the ruling party winning 2.45 million votes, the Sam Rainsy Party taking 1.13 million votes and Funcinpec receiving 1.07 million.

“The CPP would like to so­lemn­ly announce that it is…

absolutely determined to protect the results of this election that really emerged from the will of the people,” Chea Sim wrote in the statement. “No politician can de­stroy the results of the election.”

Since Friday, Funcinpec and Sam Rainsy Party officials have filed objections to the NEC’s official preliminary election results at the Constitutional Council.


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