YOU Hokry, Funcinpec's co-Minister of Interior, told reporters May 23 he would 'step
down' from his government post, but would stay on until a replacement was found.
At that point, he said, he would formally resign as co-Minister of Interior.
The move came after a late afternoon meeting with party president Prince Norodom
Ranariddh at which Hokry was given the blunt option of resigning his post, or being
fired from both his ministerial job and Funcinpec by the party's standing committee.
"Prince Ranariddh asked me to leave the position of Interior Minister and I
accept that," he told reporters. "I am happy to leave [my post] and I respect
Prince Ranariddh as the party chief."
Hokry said he would stay on as an MP, a move that effectively prevents him being
prosecuted over allegations of corruption, which he continues to deny. Stepping down,
he told reporters, was not the same as resigning.
His job at Interior, one of two ministries shared by Funcinpec and the CPP, will
remain a royalist post under the terms of the coalition agreement. A replacement
will need to be approved by the National Assembly.
Approval will likely be a lengthy process. Observers said the process would probably
prove controversial as several leading Funcinpec lights are unacceptable to the CPP,
which holds the majority of assembly seats.