FUNCINPEC Secretary General Nhek Bun Chhay on Monday denied reports that his party would join forces with the Norodom Ranariddh Party (NRP).
He said rumours of a merger may have been spread by individual party members, but that no Funcinpec leaders have ever discussed it. "I never said we would merge with the NRP," he told the Post on Monday.
Nhek Bun Chhay refused to speculate on whether the two parties might merge in the future. "We have no plans to unite with the NRP. It is not time for that yet," he said.
Chhim Seak Leng, acting president of the NRP, said that he was not aware of current plans for a party merger, adding that plans exist for a future union of the two royalist parties and referring questions to NRP Secretary General Yu Hokry.
Yu Hokry could not be reached for comment, but NRP spokesman Suth Dina told the Post that officials from both parties have met unofficially to discuss cooperation in district and provincial elections in 2009. "We are not yet ready for the parties to merge, but maybe in four or five years' time and closer to the next national election," he said.