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New Ranariddh party approved

Prince Norodom Ranariddh is officially back in the political game.

The Ministry of Interior has approved the former prime minister’s Community of Royalist People’s Party (CRPP), Ranariddh’s cabinet chief, Noranarith Anandayath, said yesterday.

“The Ministry of Interior has already recognised our political party, and we are now considering an official announcement within the next few days,” Anandayath said.

Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, could not be reached for comment.

Ranariddh ruled in a coalition government with Prime Minister Hun Sen from 1993 to 1997 before being ousted during bloody days of street fighting. He later joined the royalist faction Funcinpec, but split to start the Norodom Ranariddh Party. He quit politics altogether in 2012.

He says he is returning now because the Cambodian People’s Party and Cambodia National Rescue Party are failing to find solutions to the country’s problems after a national election last year that the opposition still disputes.

Independent political analyst Chea Vannath said yesterday that the CRPP would not be able to challenge other party in the short term, “as the prince has lost much credibility in his political leadership.”

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