Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Funcinpec taps Bun Chhay

Funcinpec taps Bun Chhay

Funcinpec taps Bun Chhay

110404_2
Nhek Bun Chhay, newly elected executive president of the Funcinpec party, speaks to party members on Friday.

Nhek Bun Chhay was unanimously elected as executive president of the royalist Funcinpec Party by 3,000 members in Phnom Penh over the weekend, claiming a centrist mantle as well as 200 defectors from the Sam Rainsy and Norodom Ranariddh parties.

The deputy prime minister, formerly secretary general of the party, said at the Funcinpec congress on Saturday that 100 members of the SRP and 100 from the NRP had joined Funcinpec – allegedly drawn by its “reform agenda”– and said he had a list of names to prove it.

Responding to criticism that his party is under the control of the ruling party, Nhek Bun Chhay said his party was merely seeking to cooperate with the Cambodian People’s Party.

“Funcinpec has cooperated with the CPP since a long time ago as part of King Father [Norodom Sihanouk’s] political platform. So I still cooperate with the CPP for political stability,” Nhek Bun Chhay said.

Pen Sangha, Norodom Ranariddh Party spokesman, said Nhek Bun Chhay’s claim about defections was a charade.

“I have checked with the grassroots already, and no member of the NRP has defected. On the contrary, only Funcinpec members have defected to the NRP,” Pen Sangha said.

“If [Nhek Bun Chhay] has the name list, please show us which province [the defectors are from],” he said yesterday.

Ke Sovannarath, secretary general of the SRP, declined to comment yesterday.

Former Funcinpec president Keo Puth Reaksmey was elected chairman.

He said he would have fewer responsibilities but would be tasked with holding the new executive president accountable.

Keo Puth Reaksmey said Funcinpec lacks the influence to oppose the CPP and defended his party’s cozy stance to the regime.

“We cannot do what we want. We have few votes,” he said.

Nhek Bun Chhay faces recent allegations that he improperly sold the Funcinpec party headquarters and, separately, accepted money from a Chinese telecommunications company asking that he “bring into full play” his influence in Funcinpec and as deputy prime minister to secure a licence for operations in the Kingdom.

Nhek Bun Chhay has dismissed the accusations, brought by former Funcinpec members who defected to the NRP.

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group