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Funcinpec kicks out Prince Thomico

Funcinpec kicks out Prince Thomico

The adopted son of retired King Norodom Sihanouk, Prince Sisowath Thomico, was expelled

from Funcinpec for expressing his personal opinion against leaders of the party and

the government.

Nouv Sovathero, spokesman for Funcinpec and Secretary of State at the Ministry of

Information, told the Post on November 13 that Thomico expressed his personal views

by calling to dissolve the party infrastructure and the Extraordinary Chambers Court

in Cambodia (ECCC).

He said that members of the party's Standing Committee on November 8 held a quick

meeting and decided to terminate the prince's membership in Funcinpec.

"The appeal of Prince Thomico is against the policy of the party, the government

and the UN," Sowathero said. "I think that his message will create a problem

for Funcinpec."

Thomico, 54, the nephew and adopted son of the King Father, has been active in politics

only for the last couple of years. He was personal secretary to the King Father for

many years, from 1979 to 2005, until he fled the government under threat of a defamation

suit from Prime Minister Hun Sen.

He is the former president of Sangkum Jatiniyum Front Party which he merged with

the now 1-year-old Norodom Ranariddh Party and then he defected to Funcinpec a few

months ago.

Thomico told the Post on November 13 that Funcinpec President Keo Puth Rasmey hadn't

informed him about the expulsion.

"I am regretful if Funcinpec expelled me from the party because of personal

expression," Thomico said. "I joined Funcinpec because I wanted to strengthen

the royalist movement and bring up political issues for debate for the interest of

the nation."

"I still work for the royalists and I will still go down to the provinces to

meet my supporters to explain them the way to reunite the royalist," Thomico

said.

He said that members of the royalist families such as Prince Norodom Ranariddh, who

is now president of the Norodom Ranariddh Party and his sister Princess Norodom Arun

Rasmey, a member of Funcinpec and the party's candidate for Prime Minister, should

not be pitted against each other during the upcoming elections campaign.

"We don't want to see brother and sister fighting each other during the political

campaign next year," Thomico said.

Princess Rasmey is youngest daughter of the King Father and a younger sister to Ranariddh.

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