The royalist Funcinpec party yesterday took pains to play down the public political divorce between party leader Prince Norodom Ranariddh and ex-deputy president Nhek Bun Chhay, while at the same time vowing to pursue legal action against Bun Chhay’s new party.
Bun Chhay on Wednesday announced his departure from Funcinpec and the birth of his own Khmer National United Party (KNUP), which will retain the old party’s royalist platform, although not the prince, who he singled out for criticism.
Yesterday, however, Funcinpec executive secretary-general Say Hak stressed to reporters at a press conference that the party was untroubled by Bun Chhay’s departure.
“We are not concerned, and it will not affect Funcinpec, because it is just a small group led by Bun Chhay. As experience shows, whoever left Funcinpec to form a new party always had negative results after the election,” he said.
Adding that former deputy party president Chhay was “just a representative in Banteay Meanchey province” who “had no role for the entire party”.
Hak went on to say Funcinpec would lodge a complaint with the Interior Ministry over the KNUP’s logo, which, like Funcinpec’s, features the Independence Monument, an emblem of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk’s campaign to end French rule of Cambodia.
Bun Chhay, however, said that he was unconcerned by the threat, adding, “We insist on using our current logo, because we are part of the resistance of Sihanoukism.”