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Prince taken to task over failed merger

Prince taken to task over failed merger

Prime Minister Hun Sen blasted Prince Norodom Ranariddh yesterday, calling him the obstacle to a failed merger between his eponymous royalist party and government partner Funcinpec.

Hun Sen was speaking in Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich before more than 1,000 youth volunteers.

The prime minister had encouraged the merger between the two royalist parties, which representatives agreed to on May 24.

Less than a month later, the merger fell flat after Ranariddh and Funcinpec party president Nhek Bun Chhay starting sniping at each other.

Hun Sen called Ranariddh dishonest and used a proverb that is meant to describe someone who will never change.

“A dog with a rolled-up tail will always have a rolled up tail,” he said.

Throwing Ranariddh even further under the bus, Hun Sen told him to join forces with opposition parties from now on to compete with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, and that Funcinpec should form a coalition government with CPP.

Pen Sangha, spokesman for the NRP, had few words in response to Hun Sen’s withering critique of his boss.

He would only say that members of his party were confused by the prime minister’s words.

Koul Panha, executive director of election monitoring group Comfrel, said that Ranariddh may have angered Hun Sen before the merger when the prince said his Norodom Ranariddh Party was a centrist party.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meas Sokchea at [email protected]

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