F UNCINPEC is moving to have Sam Rainsy expelled from the National Assembly, and
also considering sacking some of the party's provincial governors, in an
apparent crack-down on internal dissent.
Funcinpec's leadership are said
to have last week sent a letter to National Assembly chairman Chea Sim seeking
Meanwhile, the party has confirmed a "review" of
Funcinpec governorships around Cambodia.
Party leader Prince Norodom
Ranariddh discussed the issues at a meeting of Funcinpec MPs and officials last
Ly Thuch, the head of Ranariddh's Funcinpec Cabinet, said on May
2 he could make no comment because he had just returned from
Interior Minister and Funcinpec steering committee member You
Hockry, asked about the bid to remove Rainsy, said: "I have no comment, no
About Funcinpec governorships, he said: "We are looking forward
to examining certain cases related to some officials.
"In the provinces,
the people who are good workers, good officials, we will leave."
there were others who "do not fit in the positions" and "we are considering the
removal of some, or...a changing of posts".
He would not say how changes
might be made, or how long the review would take, but recommendations would be
made to party president Prince Norodom Sirivudh.
Sirivudh, in France,
could not be contacted for comment.
Among those governors rumored to be
least secure in their positions are Kompong Som's Thoam Bun Sron and Siem Reap's
In February Bun Sron spoke out against the effective
domination of the Cambodian People's Party over his province and most other
Complaining that he couldn't "even get a letter
signed" without CPP approval, he said provincial officials were still under the
patronage of their former CPP masters.
Bun Sron said this week that
rumors had been around for months, but he did not know an official review was
Asked if he was worried about his position, he said: "No. If
they change [governors], they change. That's it - I can't do
He said no-one had warned him he might be removed. "If it
happens, it will be no surprise, but I don't know of anything
Tuon Chay's only comment was that he did not know of the review
or of suggestions his position might be in jeopardy.
Meanwhile, Rainsy -
a former finance minister and the most vocal critic of government policies among
MPs - said he was aware of a Funcinpec letter to Chea Sim seeking his
He said Funcinpec had cited his recent statement that he was
forming a new "political alliance" to say that he was no longer a Funcinpec
member, and should not be an MP.
Rainsy, who stressed he wanted an
opposition political alliance and not a new party, said he would fight the
prospect of being ousted from the National Assembly.
Late this week he
sent letters to King Norodom Sihanouk, Chea Sim, the United Nations
Secretary-General, and the governments of France and Indonesia, who co-chaired
of the 1991 Paris peace conference which led to Cambodia's first
In the letters, he said, he sought "private interventions" in
support of his legal right to remain an MP.
He said UNTAC's election law
was specific: MPs could only be changed if they died, resigned, or were mentally
or physically unfit for the job.
"I think people will be shocked. I think
they will realize that this is an illegal step that the government is
"It's not Sam Rainsy. It's the principle. If you can expel one,
you can expel 120 [MPs]."
He said he had no intention, "as of today", of
leaving Funcinpec and considered his loyalty to the party lay in his commitment
to its election promises it had broken.