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

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • 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

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman