Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prince spurs defections: NRP

Prince spurs defections: NRP

Prince spurs defections: NRP

Flagging confidence in the leadership of the royalist Funcinpec party has led to the defection of more than 100 members to the Norodom Ranariddh Party, NRP officials said.

Pen Sangha, a spokesman for the NRP, said today that 127 Funcinpec members described as party activists in Kampong Cham’s Stung Trong, Chamkar Leu and Kroch Chhmar districts declared their defection to the NRP during a visit to the region by the eponymous party head Prince Norodom Ranariddh.

“Commune and district party officials have led their activists and supporters to defect to the NRP,” Pen Sangha said.

“We see that when the prince goes to the provinces, he receives widespread support from members and activists.”

He added that at the grassroots level, Funcinpec party members no longer have confidence in their leaders, such as Keo Puth Reaksmey and Nhek Bun Chhay, because they have failed to articulate a clear political platform.

Prak Chanthy, a former women’s movement leader for Funcinpec, said today her defection was the result of a loss of confidence in the party’s leadership.

“The top leaders have never gone down to visit the grassroots [organisation]. The top leaders have turned to the Cambodian People’s Party. I don’t have a branch to hang on to, so I must defect to the NRP.”

Or Sophat, Funcinpec’s deputy president in Prey Chhor district who took part in a welcoming event for the visiting prince, said he has no plans to defect to the NRP but would support a merger of the two parties before refusing to discuss the issue further.

Funcinpec spokesman Tom Sambol, however, dismissed reports of the defections, saying the allegations were the result of exaggerated reports by NRP officials.

“I have already checked the permanent commission of districts and provinces, and there are no members that have defected to the NRP,” he said.

“People close to the prince have reported these defections simply to earn favour with him. I believe that no one has defected because I am a strong man in Kampong Cham province as well.”

The reported defections come at a time when internal disputes within Funcinpec have pitted top leaders against each other over the alleged mismanagement of party property and funds.

Funcinpec central committee member Phan Chantha last month charged the party’s secretary general, Nhek Bun Chay, with selling the party’s headquarters on Norodom Boulevard for US$3.85 million and purchasing new offices in Kandal province for an undisclosed price.

Nhek Bun Chhay has dismissed the allegations, saying at the time that Phan Chantha had accused him because he was planning to defect to the NRP.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all

  • Ex-RFA journos accuse outlet

    Two former Radio Free Asia journalists held a press conference yesterday claiming they are each owed $28,000 by the US-funded radio broadcaster, which shuttered its in-country operations in September amid a government crackdown on independent media. The journalists, Sok Ratha and Ouk Savborey, maintained they organised