The royalist Funcinpec party will not take up the contentious border dispute with Vietnam as a campaigning issue ahead of crucial commune and national elections in 2017 and 2018, its president has said.
Instead, the party will focus its platform on combating corruption and creating more jobs in Cambodia to reduce the need for economic migration, Prince Norodom Ranariddh said.
“In our platform I do not mention the border. I just say that of utmost importance is the reason our poor are seeking jobs in Thailand . . . Nobody is thinking about this,” he said.
“Everyone just posts on Facebook about the border. But we don’t think about poverty, corruption. Employment is very important.”
Yim Sovann, a spokesman for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, which has made the border a central issue, dismissed Ranariddh’s remarks, saying the prince had “always repeated what Hun Sen says”.
“Saying things like this is the reason why he lost so many seats in parliament.”
Meanwhile, CNRP president Sam Rainsy, who returned from a fundraising drive in New Zealand and Australia yesterday, issued a five-point position statement on the border issue.
It included not placing blame on any individual or party and encouraging a view of the dispute as one between Cambodia and neighbouring countries, rather than a divisive issue among Cambodians.