Cambodia opposition rallies in capital, urges PM to step down

PHNOM PENH Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:52am EST

1 of 4. Protesters, including Buddhist monks, gather at the Freedom Park in central Phnom Penh December 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Samrang Pring

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PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Thousands of supporters of Cambodia's opposition rallied on Sunday, vowing to keep protesting until long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen steps down or calls an election.

The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), the amalgamation of what was once an impotent opposition to Hun Sen's iron-fisted rule, vowed to hold protests every day until their demands were met and urged Hun Sen to follow the lead of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who last week called a snap election.

The long-dominant Cambodian People's Party (CPP) has denied allegations by the opposition of vote-rigging in a July general election.

Hun Sen, facing his biggest political challenge in two decades, has ignored the opposition's demands for an investigation into the election and forged ahead with forming a government and parliament.

The CPP won the election but with a reduced majority.

"The CNRP put out a new strategy today. We demand a re-election," the CNRP's deputy president, Kem Sokha, told thousands of cheering supporters in Phnom Penh's Freedom Park.

"From today, we will protest every day and we will expand this protest to more areas."

(Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Editing by Ron Popeski)

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