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Violent protest enters second day in Phnom Penh

Government feels the heat as protesters refuse to disperse

Violent protest enters second day in Phnom Penh

Picture: Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera reporters

September 17, 2013

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Thousands of protesters have re-gathered in Cambodia's capital, a day after one man was shot dead during clashes with police as thousands of demonstrators challenged a disputed election win by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Around 10,000 protesters gathered in Freedom Park in Phnom Penh on Monday. Some had defied the authorities by camping there overnight.

Monday's protests happened while Hun Sen met opposition leader Sam Rainsy for talks, but the premier showed no sign of giving in to calls for an independent inquiry into the July 28 general election, which opponents say was rigged to ensure a continuation of Hun Sen's 28-year rule.

The meeting on Monday at the National Assembly was agreed to by the two men after King Norodom Sihamon on Saturday brought them face-to-face for the first time in years and urged them to end the political stalemate.

Officials said the two sides had agreed to look at how future general elections are held but the long-serving premier refused to give in to demands for an independent inquiry into the July 28 poll.

Prak Sokhonn, a senior official of the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP), told a briefing the two parties had agreed to respect King Norodom Sihamoni's call for calm. But the election had been decided and parliament would open as planned, he said.

"There won't be a delay ... This meeting of parliament will go ahead with or without the participation of the CNRP," he said, referring to Sam Rainsy's Cambodia National Rescue Party.

The Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) says it would have won had the vote been fair and has called for a boycott of parliament's first session September 23 unless an independent committee investigates claims of widespread voting irregularities.

Full Story: Cambodia protests rage for second day

Source: Al Jazeera

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