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Cambodian opposition leader in US for talks

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy was Wednesday meeting with top State Department officials as part of his campaign to highlight a bitter row over his country's elections.

Rainsy's opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) is boycotting parliament over the controversial July polls in which it was narrowly defeated by the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) of longtime leader Hun Sen.

Rainsy, who was also barred from running in the polls, was meeting Wednesday at the State Department with Deputy Secretary of State William Burns.

The opposition alleges widespread irregularities in the polls and has demanded an independent probe into the alleged electoral fraud.

"Independent observers have noted serious election irregularities. We do believe and continue to believe that a credible and transparent review of the election would help efforts moving forward," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

She added that Washington "continues to urge both parties to seek resolution of electoral disputes through peaceful dialogue that serves the best interests of the Cambodian people and promotes reform."

"We also strongly support an open and democratic process and do not support one political party or candidate over another."

Burns's meeting with Rainsy did "not signify an endorsement," she stressed, adding "we're looking forward to listening and hearing more about what's happening on the ground."

jkb/mdl

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131016/cambodian-opposition-leader-us-talks