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Royalists riled over land sale

The royalist Funcinpec Party is once again feuding over a relocation of its ever-shifting political offices.

In this latest case, officials claim offices in Tbong Khmum province and Kampong Thom province, as well as the headquarters in Phnom Penh, were sold without internal approval.

But party secretary-general Nhek Bun Chhay said the Tbong Khmum office has not been sold, while the other two have just been moved.

According to a letter sent to Funcinpec president Princess Norodom Arun Rasmey on August 8 by the chief of the party’s buying and selling commission, Meng Hour, the deputy chief of the commission, Soeng Kiry, signed a contract to sell Funcinpec headquarters on National Road 6A in Russey Keo district.

“During my absence, I did not transfer rights to colleague deputy chief of commission in selling party headquarters at all,” Hour said in the letter.

Hour said yesterday the committee had actually agreed in principle to the sale, and he was writing to inform Rasmey of that decision.

Bun Chhay said the party had simply moved the headquarters and the provincial office in Kampong Thom to better locations, though he did not provide details of the arrangement.

“New location is closer, it is easy to work,” he said, referring to the headquarters, which is said to also be in Russey Keo.

In a separate letter, Arun Rasmey claimed the permanent committee had not seen details of the contract and urged Kiry to make them available.

Disputes over the sale of party offices are nothing new for Funcinpec, which has managed to stay active on that front despite not having won a seat in last year’s elections.

About eight years ago, Prince Norodom Ranarridh was pushed out of the party after accusations that he profited from the sale of the party headquarters.

Bun Chhay faced similar allegations in January, when Funcinpec dismissed an official for accusing him of conspiring to sell party headquarters for personal gain.

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