The secretary-general of the royalist Funcinpec party, Prince Norodom Sirivudh, pledged
April 25 that his party's steering committee would release by the end of April the
names of those in government posts that it planned to reshuffle.
Sirivudh told reporters that the committee would discuss the list of names April
27 as it moves towards instituting the pledge made at its March congress to change
positions of party members, particularly those deemed to be working against the party's
"Our [reshuffle] will be completed by Saturday or Sunday [April 28]," said
Sirivudh. "I would like to stress that this reshuffle doesn't stem from personal
disputes between this person or that person; rather it is a matter of the party revising
He would not comment on how many members would be fired or resign, saying such decisions
were a matter for the steering committee, not one person.
"Funcinpec members will not be surprised at [these changes] - it is normal
for political parties to make changes," he said. Sirivudh added that there were
no limits: party members who were governors, ministers and leaders at any level might
be fired or might be promoted.
Those affected, however, would not be the ones whose names had appeared in newspapers.
That was a clear reference to co-Minister of Interior, You Hokry, who has been much
criticized within the party. Former resistance fighters and some senior party members
alleged he was guilty of nepotism and corruption.
Despite much muttering after the party's surprisingly poor showing in the February
commune elections, Sirivudh claimed the party was not suffering from any internal
problems. The changes were to improve its structure and its ability to work towards
a better showing in next year's national election.
Among the changes Funcinpec wanted to see were improvements in the election law and
the National Election Committee. The party would hold discussions with the Cambodian
People's Party on the draft amendment it would submit to the National Assembly when
it reconvenes in May.
"We have scheduled the meeting with Sar Kheng contingent upon his returning
to the country in time," said Sirivudh. The two men are the co-chairs of a joint
party committee formed for that purpose.
He said that as partners in the coalition government, Funcinpec and the CPP needed
to work together to solve the nation's problems.
"We have many issues requiring renegotiation [with the CPP] such as the election
law amendments and the position of the NEC before we hand the matter to the National
Assembly for debate," Sirivudh said.
"We have to adhere to the will of cooperation, and respect the mutual interests
in each party," he concluded. "We hope that our partner will also respect
the will of cooperation."
At a conference held April 23-24 to analyze Cambodia's elections, Funcinpec president
Prince Norodom Ranariddh told delegates that electoral reforms were essential.
"I believe that the national elections in 2003 cannot and will not be able to
move ahead with some substantive electoral reforms, which must be agreed upon by
the consensus of the major political parties," Ranariddh told the conference.