Insisting his cousin’s image be restricted to use in the Royal Palace, Prince Thomico demands NRP assume a different logo
Prince Norodom Ranariddh, who has retired from politics.
PRINCE Sisowath Thomico has urged the Norodom Ranariddh Party to change its name and logo to help its namesake dissociate himself from politics as he attempts to cut a regal profile.
Along with other members of the royal family, cousins Prince Thomico and Prince Ranariddh were recently given prominent posts in the King's palace council, in a move that observers saw as a tacit quid pro quo pushed by the government for the removal of royals from politics.
Some scepticism remains, however, about whether the mercurial Ranariddh can stay away from the limelight.
"The prince has resigned as president of the party and announced he has left politics, but his name and picture are still used as the party logo," Sisowath Thomico said. "It leaves the Cambodian people and [me] wondering whether he really has left politics completely."
The party has clung to the image of its namesake because what little support and prestige it has left stems from its association with the prince, Thomico contended. And he worried the party could continue to drag his cousin's already dented reputation through the political mud.
Restoring the shine
Ranariddh has sought to restore his credibility after a downward spiral that saw him devolve from co-prime minister in the 1990s to an exile in Malaysia for two years after fleeing the country to avoid a jail sentence for embezzlement.
"If they continue to use his name and picture, it will affect his honour and the reputation of other members of the royal family, especially the monarchy, who have decided to stay out of politics," Thomico said.
Ranariddh's spokesman, Chea Chanboribo, said the party's title and image were "technical issues" beyond the prince's control, and changing them could create complications for the party's two elected lawmakers in the National Assembly.
"I can say the prince has definitely left politics since resigning from the party, and I've been told the party is looking into changing its name and logo."
But party spokesman Suth Dina said that when Ranariddh resigned, he gave the party full rights to continue using his name and image, and it would require time and resources to organise a motion for the party congress to remake them.
Tep Nytha, secretary general of the National Election Committee, said no current legislation stipulates on the question of party names.