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Cambodia's King Asked to Intervene in Political Crisis

Cambodia's former finance minister and opposition leader, Sam Rainsy, has fled to France while his party asks the country's new king to intervene in a growing political crisis.

King Norodom Sihamoni, who was crowned in October, has said that he would not get involved in Cambodian politics.

Mr. Rainsy and two opposition party leaders were stripped of immunity from prosecution on Thursday, following a vote in the National Assembly. The decision means that Mr. Rainsy can be prosecuted for defamation by his political rival, Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has led the Cambodian government for the last 20 years.

Members of the Sam Rainsy Party say they will boycott some Parliament sessions as a protest against the immunity vote.

The United States has criticized what State Department officials say is a growing climate of intimidation of opposition voices in Cambodia.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.

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