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Opposition’s mass protest allowed, march banned

Published: 06-Sep-13 04:27PM

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PHNOM PENH (The Cambodia Herald) --  The Ministry of Interior has allowed the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) to hold a non-violent mass prayer demonstration this Saturday, however the ministry banned any marching or camping after the gathering, according to a government official on Thursday.

"The Ministry of Interior has allowed the Cambodian National Rescue Party to hold a peaceful protest at Freedom Park from 7 to 12 o’clock in the morning,” said Phnom Penh governor, Pa Socheatvong.  

"The CNRP is permitted to gather no more than 10,000 of its supporters because that's the limit in which Freedom Park can hold," he said, adding that marching along the streets in the capital will not be allowed.

The opposition leader went to Stung Meanchey temple Yesterday to urge the people there to join in their mass demonstration on Saturday, a day before the National Election Committee's announcement of the final official election results.

Sam Rainsy vowed to hold a periodic protest if the election irregularities remained unsolved.

"The position of the CNRP remains strong, and the mass protest will occur periodically if a solution can't be found," he told supporters at Stung Meanchey temple.

Thousands of government anti-riot police, armed with batons and shields, were seen practicing crowd control procedures this past Sunday at the Diamond Island center to prepare for the opposition’s mass demonstration.

The Australian embassy has issued a new warning to its citizens in Cambodia to avoid the public gathering, saying that the opposition's demonstration on Saturday could turn violent.

Cambodian authorities have established checkpoints around Phnom Penh to restrict traffic movement and boost security to prepare for the opposition's demonstration at Freedom Park on September 7, according to a government statement on Friday.

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