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Funcinpec officials claim expulsion over internal failings

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Funcinpec leader Prince Norodom Ranariddh speaks at a party congress in September 2017. Heng Chivoan

Funcinpec officials claim expulsion over internal failings

The four Funcinpec senior officials who were expelled by the party claim they were removed as they were unable to fulfil their responsibilities effectively. They rejected claims that their expulsion was due to pressure from Prince Norodom Ranariddh.

Speaking at a press conference in the capital on Thursday morning to clarify their positions, they also said they could not carry out their party work effectively due to internal problems within it.

“We suspect that all decisions were not signed by the Prince but the signature [to change their positions] was forged or scanned because we have not received the original documents regarding the decision as yet.

“[Only] the decision to end our memberships from the party was signed by Prince Norodom Chakravuth, the acting president on August 20, 2018,” they collectively said in a letter released at the press conference.

No contact with Prince

The group said there were internal issues within the party and they had tried to contact the Prince, who is currently receiving medical treatment in Bangkok after a car accident, but they could not speak to him because of several barriers, they said.

“In short, these barriers are from the Prince’s relatives. I can only say that the dismissal was based on the party’s internal rules and it is the decision of the acting president,” said Funcinpec’s spokesman Nub Sothearith.

The four dismissed officials, seen as loyal to Prince Norodom Ranariddh, are You Hok Kry, the party’s former deputy president, Nheb Bunchin, former deputy president and spokesman, Por Bun Sreu, also former deputy president and Van Sophanna, former deputy general-secretary.

Ranariddh, who is Funcinpec president, recently appointed his son Prince Norodom Chakravuth as the acting party president.

The 48-year-old Prince Chakravuth is the son of Ranariddh and his first wife, Mary Ranariddh.

The appointment of the older prince was done after the car crash on June 17 in Preah Sihanouk province. His current wife, Ouk Phalla, was killed in the accident.

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