Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Internal Funcinpec woes still mounting

Internal Funcinpec woes still mounting

Internal Funcinpec woes still mounting

Tensions in the upper echelons of the royalist Funcinpec party edged ever closer to boiling over yesterday with Nhek Bun Chhay – long one of the party’s most influential figures – accusing newly returned president Prince Norodom Ranariddh of dismantling the party’s leadership and stacking it with loyalists.

While avowing that he was not against Ranariddh, second deputy president Bun Chhay said yesterday that the Prince’s alleged decision to disband the party’s central and permanent committees and replace them almost entirely with his own allies ran counter to the principle of reunification under which Ranariddh was invited back to Funcinpec after his ouster in 2006.

“I and [first deputy president] Princess [Norodom] Arun Rasmey have invited Samdech Krom Preah [Ranariddh] back to reunite royalist Sihanoukists, but when the prince came, [his] arrangement of the party is contrary to that aim,” Nhek Bun Chhay said.

The purported reshuffling, he added, had been carried out without consulting him and Arun Rasmey, and had alienated provincial party leaders.

“This is the reason that’s causing problems. Most of them do not accept it,” Bun Chhay said. “Reuniting is making additions; it is not making subtractions.”

In a letter issued on Monday, Ranariddh called on Bun Chhay and Arun Rasmey to stop their opposition, and to join forces to bring the weakened Funcinpec back to national relevance.

Ranariddh could not be reached for comment yesterday, but his spokesman, Nhep Bun Chin, maintained that the prince had not yet dismantled the party’s structure. Rather, Bun Chin added, the Prince had formed a working group tasked with preparing new party statutes in the interest of streamlining what he characterised as the party’s bloated leadership, which Bun Chin blamed for its failure to win any parliamentary seats in 2013.

“If we have zero seats, and we still continue with a leadership structure that’s too big and sloppy, we would continue [to have] zero,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • LPG gas explosion injures 13 people, including foreigners, in Siem Reap

    An explosion on Wednesday at a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) car and tuk-tuk refuelling station in Siem Reap city has left 13 people, including an American and a Briton, suffering burns. The seven most severely burned, including a provincial police officer, were sent to a Thai

  • Over 100 Chinese nationals to be deported for online scam

    The Ministry of Interior is planning to deport 128 Chinese nationals after they were arrested in Preah Sihanouk province on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in an online money extortion scam. Y Sokhy, the head of the Department of Counter-terrorism and Transnational Crime, told The Post

  • More than 800 people test positive for HIV in 2018

    The National Aids Authority (NAA) said more than 800 people tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) last year, joining over 76,000 others aged between 15 and 49 in the Kingdom already infected with the virus. The spread of HIV/AIDS in the Kingdom is showing few signs of

  • Rainsy vow to return on Nov 9 dismissed as ‘political warfare’

    An announcement from the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that its “acting president” Sam Rainsy would return to the Kingdom on November 9 was dismissed on Sunday as “political warfare”. The CNRP made the announcement on Friday after a permanent committee meeting chaired by