(Corrects name of bridge in paragraph 5)
* Clashes major test for PM's long rule
* Opposition claims electoral fraud denied it victory
* One man reported shot dead, several injured
By Prak Chan Thul
PHNOM PENH, Sept 16 Cambodian Prime Minister Hun
Sen met the country's main opposition leader on Monday after
violence broke out at a rally the previous day to protest July's
contested general election result and one man was shot dead.
At least 1,000 protesters were camped out in the rain in
makeshift tents in Freedom Park in the capital Phnom Penh late
on Sunday and many remained on Monday in a tense standoff.
The electoral authorities say Hun Sen's Cambodian People's
Party (CPP), which has been in power for 28 years, won the
election, but the opposition claims the CPP rigged the vote and
wants an independent inquiry.
Clashes broke out in several places in Phnom Penh on Sunday
as supporters of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party
(CNRP) tried to remove razor-wire barricades and refused to
restrict their protest to a designated site in Freedom Park.
Chan Soveth, a worker for human rights group Adhoc, said a
man was shot in the head and died when CNRP supporters tried to
move razor-wire barricades set up by the authorities in the Kbal
Thnal Bridge area near their party headquarters.
He said the man was not a political protester but someone
who lived in the area and was among a group of local residents
angry that they could not reach their homes.
Chan Soveth said he had visited five other people in
hospital who had been hit by live rounds. "These bullets came
from where the authorities were," he told Reuters.
Kheng Tito, National Military Police spokesman, said police
had used only teargas, batons and smoke grenades and he could
not say how the man died.
"I don't know how he was killed. We didn't use live
bullets," he said.
The capital has been tense since the election on July 28 but
protests were mostly calm until this weekend and the security
forces, prone to cracking down on dissent in the past, had also
King Norodom Sihamoni summoned Hun Sen and CNRP leader Sam
Rainsy to a meeting on Saturday morning but it lasted just 30
minutes and apparently produced no results.
According to the electoral authorities the CPP won the
election with 68 seats to the CNRP's 55, a greatly reduced
majority that, even before the protests, signalled
dissatisfaction with Hun Sen's authoritarian rule despite rapid
economic growth in a country seen for decades as a basket case.
The CNRP says it was cheated out of 2.3 million votes that
would have handed it victory.
It was unclear how long the demonstration against Hun Sen
would last. Those wrapped in blankets in Freedom Park have vowed
to stay for at least three days.
"We're here to protest against the National Election
Commission that stole our votes. They should be the referee, not
the puppet of the ruling CPP," said Yong Ol, 43, who had come to
the capital by truck from southern Prey Veng province.
Analysts see the standoff as a war of attrition stacked in
favour of a premier not known for compromise.
The opposition will try to paralyse the legislature by
boycotting parliament's first session on Sept. 23.
Hun Sen, 61, has been a dominant force in Cambodia for years
and has taken credit for steering it away from a chaotic past
towards economic growth and development.
But many urban youth born after the 1975-1979 "Killing
Fields" rule of the Khmer Rouge see little appeal in his
iron-fisted approach and are disillusioned by growing land
evictions, labour disputes and graft plus the country's close
political ties with top investor China.
(Writing by Alan Raybould; Editing by Michael Perry)