Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Royalist alliance splits over candidate lists, party platform

Royalist alliance splits over candidate lists, party platform

Royalist alliance splits over candidate lists, party platform

090126_05.jpg
090126_05.jpg

Funcinpec and NRP to contest May council elections separately after meetings on royalist collaboration fall apart over points of principle

Photo by: TRACEY SHELTON

Nhek Bun Chhay’s Funcinpec will not be joining the NRP to contest May elections.

FUNCINPEC and the Norodom Ranariddh Party (NRP) will not sign a memorandum of understanding to create a Nationalist Alliance ahead of May's district and provincial council elections, Funcinpec Second Deputy President Prince Sisowath Sirirath said Sunday.

Despite a promising first meeting, negotiations between the parties deteriorated last week when they failed to agree on a common platform.

"Everything is finished now," Prince Sirirath said. "The discussion between Funcinpec and the NRP has been stopped because of disagreement on the words used, and some of our principles."

But NRP spokesman Suth Dina said that while it was unlikely the parties would contest the elections together, talks were only being put on hold.

"The MoU agreement between the NRP and Funcinpec is postponed because in our two discussions we couldn't find a common principle that both parties could accept," he said.

"But in principle, the NRP intends to cooperate [with Funcinpec] in the local elections in May."

Stumbling blocks

Suth Dina said two obstacles now stood in the way of the parties teaming up, the first of which stemmed from a new subdecree changing the number of district, provincial and municipal council members.

He said the other problem the parties faced was their inability to agree on a list of candidates.

"Funcinpec wants to put a candidate on all candidate lists, but the NRP wants to alternate the name of the candidates on the list and share the votes for all candidates," Suth Dina said.

"In a province where Funcinpec has many members in the commune council, a candidate from Funcinpec would be at the head of the list, [but] the principle is still in discussion."

The NRP spokesman said that, combined, the parties could win seats on new councils in 12 provinces but separately they could only win in six or seven.

Koul Panha, executive director of election monitor Comfrel, agreed, saying that alone both parties would struggle.

"By themselves they cannot gain more seats. If they negotiate, then together they could potentially gain seats," he said.

But, he said, in reality the two parties were bad at working together and have a difficult future. "They cannot come together," he said.

"They join and split and each time they do the voters lose confidence in them."

Negotiations first began almost two weeks ago as both parties attempted to rebuild following major losses in July's national election.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Life goes on’ if Cambodia loses Everything But Arms

    Cambodia's business sector is exploring ways to mitigate any fallout from a possible loss of access to the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement as talks continue before the 28-member bloc makes a final decision. The EU monitoring process is set to conclude in

  • Nesat beach: A magnet drawing tourists to the Kingdom’s coastline

    A white sandy beach lined by countless coconut trees awaits travellers off Cambodia’s southwest coast in Koh Kong province’s Srae Ambel district, about 170km from Phnom Penh. Over the past few years Nesat beach – a name inspired by a nearby fishing village – has

  • PM: Workers must train for Industry 4.0

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has urged the Kingdom’s workforce to seek more technical training and strengthen their skills if they are to avoid job losses resulting from the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Hun Sen said the fourth industrial revolution is like a double-edged sword that

  • Huawei applies for OS trademark in Cambodia

    China's Huawei Technologies Co has applied to trademark the “Hongmeng” operating system (OS) in a number of countries including Cambodia in a bid to launch its homegrown operating system as a replacement for the Android OS, Reuters has reported. Huawei has applied to trademark the “