Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ranariddh and Former Dissident Combine Efforts

Ranariddh and Former Dissident Combine Efforts

Ranariddh and Former Dissident Combine Efforts

Clinking champagne glasses, Prince Norodom Ranariddh and dissident leader Oung Phan

toasted the merger of their two political parties in a public ceremony at Ranariddh's

residence in Phnom Penh on July 17.

Under an agreement signed between the two groups, Phan's party-the Liberal Social

Democratic Party-will dissolve into FUNCINPEC, Ranariddh's faction.

Phan, 41-formerly minister of transport in the Hun Sen government-was imprisoned

along with seven other government officials in May 1990 for attempting to launch

a pro-democracy party.

Released 17 months later after the signing of the Paris Peace Accords, Phan's party

began to regroup earlier this year in preparation for the 1993 general elections.

But after drive-by gunmen made an attempt on Phan's life in January, and another

member, Yang Horn, died under questionable circumstances in March, the party drastically

curtailed its public activities.

Introducing Phan as his "eminent collaborator," Ranariddh said: "Oung

Phan was the first Cambodian-even before the arrival of UNTAC-who dared to quit a

communist party and set up a liberal party. He has my admiration."

Ranariddh said he expects that Phan will accompany him to meetings of the Supreme

National Council and act as the prince's "special advisor" on human rights.

Phan denied to comment on the number of potential voters his party brings to FUNCINPEC,

which Ranariddh said already has 60,000 members.

- Sara Colm

MOST VIEWED

  • 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

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh