In a speech on Koh Pich on Saturday, Funcinpec party president Prince Norodom Ranariddh urged party members with government jobs to fork out their party dues, insinuating that he would report delinquent members to Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Ma Chon, a royal cabinet official for Ranariddh, said that yesterday’s remarks were in reference to numerous “adviser” positions given to Funcinpec officials by the prime minister out of “sympathy” in the past.
“Their positions were given by the prime minister, who had mercy on those officials,” said Chon, adding that around 20 party members fell under these criteria.
“Some receive salaries but they don’t help [the party], so there should be a measure to delete their names [from the party lists], or some other measure. But it is hard to do so.”
Chon said that the positions included not only advisers but also secretaries of state, undersecretaries, and provincial officials.
Nhek Bun Chhay, deputy Funcinpec president, said yesterday that Ranarridh called for the officials to contribute 15 per cent of their salaries to the party, and characterised Ranariddh’s proposed requests not as a “report” to the premier, but a threat to party members.
“[Ranarridh] will not ‘report’ them; it is a request to the prime minister to revoke their positions from the list of officials.”
Once a dominant force in Cambodian politics, the Funcinpec party – which currently has no lawmakers in parliament, but still has officials at the local level – has in recent years been overshadowed by the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party.
Ranarridh could not be reached for comment yesterday.