Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prince calls for 3-party coalition

Prince calls for 3-party coalition

Funcinpec party president Prince Norodom Ranariddh
Funcinpec party president Prince Norodom Ranariddh greets a crowd in Kampong Cham yesterday. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Prince calls for 3-party coalition

Funcinpec party president Prince Norodom Ranariddh has called on the opposition and ruling parties to form a tripartite coalition with the royalists after Cambodia National Rescue Party president Sam Rainsy and Prime Minister Hun Sen embarked on a “honeymoon” after years spent at each others’ throats.

The ageing prince, who recently returned to the helm of a party that analysts say has faded into political irrelevance, said the three main parties should join forces given that dissident radio host Mam Sonando intended to resurrect his Beehive Social Democratic Party ahead of the 2018 election.

Earlier this month, Rainsy and Hun Sen embarked on a symbolic public outing to Siem Reap for Khmer New Year following the conclusion of at-times tense negotiations over the formation of the new National Election Committee.

“I know that Sonando will set up another opposition party, because he has seen that the current opposition led by . . . Rainsy seems to be speaking sweet words [to the ruling party]. Sam Rainsy and Hun Sen looked like a couple on their honeymoon,” Ranariddh said.

He added that if Rainsy and Hun Sen were intent on maintaining their “sweet and gentle words” the CNRP and Cambodian People’s Party should fulfil what he said was the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk’s wish that they merge.

“We need an opposition party but if all [three] parties merged together he would have been very happy,” he said. “I would welcome a coalition between . . . Rainsy, Funcinpec and the Cambodian People’s Party, as was the wish of [Sihanouk].”

Rainsy could not be reached.

Sihanouk had encouraged the CNRP leader, then Sam Rainsy Party head, to form a coalition government in 2003, Ranariddh claimed. But after leaving the meeting, Rainsy decided not to go down that road, he said.

He also claimed Sonando had requested a meeting and that he had accepted.

“If we talk, I want to ask him if he becomes an opposition force, how he will oppose [the ruling party]. I want to know.”

But Sonando, who on Wednesday announced he was relaunching his defunct party, denied having approached Ranariddh.

“I didn’t want to meet him. If he says I did it’s not the truth.”

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann mocked Ranariddh’s suggestion that the three parties should form a coalition with the CPP, saying that a party with no seats in parliament was in a poor position to offer advice.

“If he’s only trying to increase the chances for his party to get seats then that is OK, but he does not need to lecture the [CNRP],” Sovann said.

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