Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Norodom Ranariddh back, in name at least

Norodom Ranariddh back, in name at least

Norodom Ranariddh back, in name at least

THE Nationalist Party is set to change its name back to the Norodom Ranariddh Party, less than a year after it abandoned the title in favour of its current moniker.

NP spokesman Pen Sangha said the change, to be formalised at a party congress next month, was a result of “thousands” of appeals from party members, who are calling for former party head Prince Norodom Ranariddh to return from retirement to head the party.

“For this issue, Samdech Krompreah Norodom Ranariddh has agreed to have the Nationalist Party’s name changed to the Norodom Ranariddh Party,” Pen Sangha said.

The move marks the latest in a series of recent developments that have marked the embattled royalist parties, which are seeking to reverse a steady electoral slide since Funcinpec, led by Ranariddh, romped to victory in the UN-backed 1993 election.

In 2006, Ranariddh was removed as the party’s president over allegations he embezzled party funds, and broke away to start the NRP. His name was removed from the party’s title following his retirement from active politics in October 2008. He is currently serving as an adviser to King Norodom Sihamoni.

The two parties, which won just four of the National Assembly’s 123 seats at the 2008 elections, recently announced an alliance some hope will firm into a full merger ahead of the 2012 commune elections.

As the merger plan gathers steam, hopes have arisen that Ranariddh will return to head the NP, and perhaps a new, reunited royalist party.

Pen Sangha said that despite authorising the change of name, the Prince had not yet indicated whether he will reassume an active role in politics.

Chea Chanboribo, a spokesman for Ranariddh, declined to comment in detail, but confirmed the Prince had not made a decision about a possible comeback.

Funcinpec President Keo Puth Reaksmey said the rebranding would not affect the two parties’ alliance, as long as the substance of the party’s platform remained the same.

MOST VIEWED

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading

  • PM warns EU and opposition on 34th anniversary of his rule

    HUN Sen reached the milestone of 34 years as Cambodian prime minister on Monday and used the groundbreaking ceremony for a new ring road around Phnom Penh to tell the international community that putting sanctions on the Kingdom meant killing the opposition. “Please don’t forget