Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ranariddh quits politics

Ranariddh quits politics

Ranariddh quits politics

P1_ranariddh_quits.jpg
P1_ranariddh_quits.jpg

AFP

Prince Norodom Ranariddh announces his departure from politics Thursday at the Himawari Hotel in Phnom Penh.

PRINCE Norodom Ranariddh announced his resignation from politics Thursday night and called on other opposition parties to support the new government.

"I met the King this morning and I told him that I quit politics," the 64-year-old Prince told some 60 journalists at a dinner at the Himawari Hotel in Phnom Penh.

"I am no longer an opposition party leader. I have come back to Cambodia and I want to serve my nation."

He added that "the opposition in Cambodia should compromise and recognise the results of the election. This is for the life of the nation".

The Norodom Ranariddh Party intitially rejected the results of the July 27 polls along with the Sam Rainsy and Human Rights parties.

His decision brings to a close a 17-year career in politics that began with a resounding victory in the UN-sponsored polls in 1993 under Funicnpec and foundered with his self-titled party claiming just two seats in this year's  elections.

"I am preparing myself to take a rest for a while and I may transfer power as the president of the NRP to my deputy," Ranariddh said, without identifying his deputy.

The Prince, who returned Sunday from 18 months of self-imposed exile in Malaysia after receiving a Royal Amnesty requested by Prime Minister Hun Sen, said he fully supports the new Cambodian People's Party  government.

"I am a democrat, and I have to respect the results of the elections," Ranariddh said.

The Prince fled the country after a Phnom Penh municipal court sentenced him in absentia to 18 months in jail for embezzling money from the sale of Funcinpec headquarters.

Earlier on Thursday Hun Sen  had warned NRP officials not to waste their time pushing for appointments in the new government.

"There are no positions for NRP members in the government. I never considered that there would be," Hun Sen said during a ceremony at the National Institute of Education.

Ranariddh's retirement from politics further consolidates the CPP's grip on power as it farewells one of Hun Sen's oldest opponents.

"The prince is not thinking about government positions," NRP spokesman Suth Dina told the Post Thursday morning, adding, "He is thinking about a good relationship with Prime Minister Hun Sen and how best to serve the nation."

SRP Deputy Secretary General Mu Sochua said the Prince's departure was "not surprising". 

"I think it was a part of the deal for him to come back home and I think it is a wise choice considering the results of the NRP in the election," she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chip Mong acquires Grand Phnom Penh

    Chip Mong Group Co Ltd has acquired Grand Phnom Penh International City Co Ltd (GPPIC), the developer of the Grand Phnom Penh International City project, GPPIC said on Wednesday. The announcement, which was signed by GPPIC management team member Mao Malay and obtained by The

  • Thais could deny Rainsy visa

    A senior Thai police official has said that Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), would not be granted a visa if he intended to cause unrest in Thailand. Thai news website MGR Online on Tuesday quoted Lieutenant

  • Police ‘ready to arrest’ Rainsy as CNRP arrive in Thailand

    Police and military officials confirmed their readiness to enforce the courts’ warrants to arrest Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), if he returns to the Kingdom as promised. They said some CNRP leaders have arrived in Thailand

  • International visitor shortage hitting Siem Reap tourist industry hard

    Businesses in Siem Reap town’s tourism industry are struggling to survive as the number of foreign visitors to the Kingdom’s main cultural destination continues to drop, insiders have said. Data from the Ministry of Tourism shows that foreign arrivals to Siem Reap province

  • Cambodian request results in ban on Rainsy IPU speech

    Sam Rainsy’s invitation to deliver a speech at the 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in the Serbian capital of Belgrade this week was revoked after a request from the Cambodian delegation. Rainsy’s name was removed from the list of those who

  • Japan gives $3 million grant for food project

    A signing ceremony was conducted on Thursday in which Japan pledged a $3.18 million grant to the Cambodian government to assist in the implementation of a meal programme for vulnerable children in schools and poor communities. To be rolled out in collaboration with the UN’s