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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Molinaka Looks to Play Swinging Role

Molinaka Looks to Play Swinging Role

Headed by Prum Neakareach, a 52-year-old former ANKI army officer, Molinaka and Naktaorsou

Khmere Freedom Party is the only one of the 17 small parties to win a seat in the

Constituent Assembly.

"I am happy to have this one seat," Prum said. "I will not join either

of the big parties but remain alone in opposition. If one party does something bad

I will join with the other, and if that party is bad I will go over to the other


Prum is used to being an opposition figure. Trained at military school in Phnom Penh

and the Ecole Navale in France, he was then sent to the United States to study as

a military officer under the Lon Nol regime in 1975, just before the Khmer Rouge

took over. He ended up staying until 1986. While in the U.S. Prum and other Cambodians

formed an anti-communist group, the Samakhun Angkor, to protest the Khmer Rouge takeover.

When he returned to Cambodia in 1986 Prum went to the Thai-Cambodian border to join

the anti-Vietnamese resistance, becoming an officer in the FUNCINPEC army ANKI. But

he had a falling out with FUNCINPEC and broke away to form his own party.

The week after the elections Prum said three of his party officials in Kompong Cham

province were killed by what he alleged were CPAF soldiers. He said they were former

State of Cambodia (SOC) officials who had joined Molinaka because they were unhappy

with the Cambodian People's Party, and he speculated that this was revenge for leaving

the CPP.

Prum's proposal for the new constitution was to form a government based on the American

model, with an independent legislature, executive, and judiciary. However, he wanted

the judiciary to be elected as well.

With only one seat in the Assembly, Prum acknowledged that he cannot expect to do

much. He said the small parties had met before the elections and agreed to form an

opposition group in the Assembly. The small parties also agreed to support Sihanouk

as prime minister. Prum said he agreed with the ideal of a coalition government,

which that day Ranariddh had just announced his approval of with certain conditions.

Prum said he would continue to support Sihanouk, and he hoped to remain in contact

with the other small parties, to represent them in the Assembly.



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