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Cambodian Opposition Gives Government Three-month Deadline

Cambodians raise their arms as they gather during a protest at Freedom Park in central Phnom Penh, Dec. 17, 2013.
Cambodian opposition officials said Tuesday they will give the government three months to hold a new election, or they will lead a movement in hopes of toppling its leadership.

Kem Sokha, vice president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, said the government is harming its citizens and will face “people power” as a result.

Sokha said, "When they failed to deliver justice through an independent investigation, there must be a re-election. If there is no re-election, it means that they create sufferings for the people… Even if the leaders of the Rescue Party try to stop people, it is impossible because people will strongly demand justice through peaceful means.”

The opposition says it lost July’s election because of irregularities and fraud. It has boycotted the new government and is calling for continued demonstrations until a credible investigation is held or a new election is organized.

But Cambodia has no re-election law, said Tep Nitha, secretary-general of the National Election Committee.

“Legally speaking, this election was completely a done deal. I don’t know which institution will be responsible to address their demand,” Nitha said.

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

This report was produced in collaboration with VOA's Khmer service.