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Cambodian Opposition Readies Parliament Boycott

Cambodia's opposition says it will boycott the opening session of parliament and continue mounting protests now that the National Election Committee has officially ratified the election victory of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy said Sunday the Cambodia National Rescue Party, or CNRP, is not interested in talks with Hun Sen's ruling Cambodian People's Party, or CPP, until there is an independent investigation of alleged election irregularities.

Rainsy said the opposition will hold three days of demonstrations beginning next Sunday.

The NEC said Sunday Hun Sen's ruling party is the winner in July's hotly disputed polls, rejecting opposition claims the elections were riddled with fraud.

The election committee said Hun Sen's CPP took 68 seats. The election board said the opposition CNRP won 55 seats, significantly more seats than it has won in the past.

The opposition said it would have won more seats if the election had been fair.

Rainsy insisted Sunday the election commission's announcement would not blunt the CNRP's efforts to overturn the poll, despite the official end of the appeal process.

On Saturday, nearly 20,000 opposition supporters demonstrated in Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital, in support of an investigation into alleged vote tampering and widespread voter disenfranchisement.

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