Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prince calls for 3-party coalition

Prince calls for 3-party coalition

Funcinpec party president Prince Norodom Ranariddh
Funcinpec party president Prince Norodom Ranariddh greets a crowd in Kampong Cham yesterday. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Prince calls for 3-party coalition

Funcinpec party president Prince Norodom Ranariddh has called on the opposition and ruling parties to form a tripartite coalition with the royalists after Cambodia National Rescue Party president Sam Rainsy and Prime Minister Hun Sen embarked on a “honeymoon” after years spent at each others’ throats.

The ageing prince, who recently returned to the helm of a party that analysts say has faded into political irrelevance, said the three main parties should join forces given that dissident radio host Mam Sonando intended to resurrect his Beehive Social Democratic Party ahead of the 2018 election.

Earlier this month, Rainsy and Hun Sen embarked on a symbolic public outing to Siem Reap for Khmer New Year following the conclusion of at-times tense negotiations over the formation of the new National Election Committee.

“I know that Sonando will set up another opposition party, because he has seen that the current opposition led by . . . Rainsy seems to be speaking sweet words [to the ruling party]. Sam Rainsy and Hun Sen looked like a couple on their honeymoon,” Ranariddh said.

He added that if Rainsy and Hun Sen were intent on maintaining their “sweet and gentle words” the CNRP and Cambodian People’s Party should fulfil what he said was the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk’s wish that they merge.

“We need an opposition party but if all [three] parties merged together he would have been very happy,” he said. “I would welcome a coalition between . . . Rainsy, Funcinpec and the Cambodian People’s Party, as was the wish of [Sihanouk].”

Rainsy could not be reached.

Sihanouk had encouraged the CNRP leader, then Sam Rainsy Party head, to form a coalition government in 2003, Ranariddh claimed. But after leaving the meeting, Rainsy decided not to go down that road, he said.

He also claimed Sonando had requested a meeting and that he had accepted.

“If we talk, I want to ask him if he becomes an opposition force, how he will oppose [the ruling party]. I want to know.”

But Sonando, who on Wednesday announced he was relaunching his defunct party, denied having approached Ranariddh.

“I didn’t want to meet him. If he says I did it’s not the truth.”

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann mocked Ranariddh’s suggestion that the three parties should form a coalition with the CPP, saying that a party with no seats in parliament was in a poor position to offer advice.

“If he’s only trying to increase the chances for his party to get seats then that is OK, but he does not need to lecture the [CNRP],” Sovann said.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Thy Sovantha threatens new suit

    Social media celebrity and card-carrying CPP member Thy Sovantha yesterday said she will file a lawsuit against wildlife NGO head Suwanna Gauntlett alleging discrimination after the latter allegedly denied her access to an ecotourism program the group is launching today in Koh Kong province. The

  • Police raid Siem Reap party, arrest 10 foreigners over ‘pornographic’ images

    A group of 10 foreign tourists appeared in court today after being arrested for producing “pornographic” photos in Siem Reap town on Thursday, while dozens more were detained temporarily and let go after being lectured on their behaviour, according to authorities. A report posted to the

  • Hun Sen’s in-law removed from RCAF after cockfighting rings raided

    Thai Phany, the nephew-in-law of Prime Minister Hun Sen who is accused of running two large cockfighting rings, has been removed as a general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. Phany, formerly a one-star brigadier general, was removed by royal decree on December 19, according to

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially