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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/26/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Prime Minister Hun Sen rejects calls for him to step down

Thousands of Cambodians have taken to the streets in protest, calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Hun Sen. The prime minister rejected requests last week for him to step down. The leader, who rules the nation with an iron fist reiterated that there would be "no re-election," and dismissed allegations that the July election was rigged.

Carrying banners which 'Hun Sen must step down!,' demonstrators marched through the capital every day this week to press the Cambodian leader to meet their demands.

Carrying banners which "Hun Sen must step down!," demonstrators marched through the capital every day this week to press the Cambodian leader to meet their demands.

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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/26/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Cambodia, protestors, Prime Minister Hun Sen


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As many as 10,000 protesters waving flags and banners massed in a park in the capital Phnom Penh last week. 

Demonstrators are demanding fresh elections and for the current prime minister's resignation. The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, or CNRP party had earlier asked for an independent probe into the polls that extended Hun Sen's nearly three-decade rule.

Carrying banners which "Hun Sen must step down!," demonstrators marched through the capital every day this week to press the Cambodian leader to meet their demands.

The opposition party, led by Sam Rainsy has boycotted parliament since the polls, The opposition has threatened to block all major roads to Phnom Penh next month unless the government meets it demands.

Hun Sen had rejected an inquiry into the elections. He says that the Cambodian constitution did not allow the prime minister to dissolve the parliament before its five-year mandate. In addition, he warned that the government would take legal measures in response to any "illegal actions" that would cause instability in the country.

"We cannot accept any actions that would involve the destruction of national security," Hun Sen said.

Parliament in late September had approved a new five-year term for Hun Sen, despite the absence of opposition MPs, in a move decried by the CNRP as a "constitutional coup."

Cambodian watchers say the opposition protests are now largely symbolic, with months passing since the elections while Hun Sen remains firmly in charge.

A 61-year-old former Khmer Rouge cadre who defected and oversaw Cambodia's rise from the ashes of war, Hun Sen has ruled for 28 years, and has vowed to continue until he turns 74.



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