Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Royalist merger shaken again

Royalist merger shaken again

Royalist merger shaken again

120619_04

Nhek Bun Chhay, president of the Funcinpec party, speaks to party members last year. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

The prospect of a merger between Funcinpec and the Norodom Ranariddh Party looks dim, as representatives from both groups are accusing each other of harboring support for unnamed opposition parties.

“As I know, Samdech Krom Preah [Ranariddh] intends to merge with opposition parties,” said Funcinpec president Nhek Bun Chhay, though he didn’t specify which ones.

He said that this would bring problems to Funcinpec, because of its alignment with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

“If [Norodom Ranariddh] stands behind opposition parties, I would be chased from the government,” he said.

Prince Norodom Ranariddh could not be reached for comment yesterday, but his chief of cabinet and spokesman, Noranarith Anandayath, dismissed the allegation, and threw it right back at Nhek Bun Chhay.

“So, do not accuse that Norodom Ranariddh wants to join opposition parties. Norodom Ranariddh cannot take votes of royalists to give opposition party leaders Sam Rainsy or Kem Sokha [Human Rights Party], because they are not royalists,” he said.

Election monitoring Comfrel executive director Koul Panha said that the royalist parties should merge if they want to gain more votes.

The now-shaky merger seemed to be set in stone last month, when the two parties agreed to join forces following the June 3 commune elections. But it might be an example of history repeating itself.

In late 2010, the parties began discussing the possibility of a merger, but it failed to materialise amid disagreements on a number of issues, including the name.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meas Sokchea at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • US Embassy urges reconciliation

    The US has urged Cambodia to restore the independence of the media, drop charges against Kem Sokha and other political prisoners, and end the prohibition of political activity by opposition parties. However, senior government officials see the request, issued by US embassy spokesman Arend C

  • Government deports 235 Chinese scammers

    THE Immigration Department of the Ministry of Interior on Thursday deported 235 Chinese nationals, 35 of whom were female, via the Phnom Penh International Airport for their part in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) online money extortion scam. The deportees were arrested on November 26 over the

  • EU companies voice concern over impact of possible EBA withdrawal

    European companies operating in Cambodia voiced concern over the potential repercussions of removing the Kingdom’s Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential scheme, as the EU Ambassador to Cambodia, George Edgar, led an EU-organised media trip this week. Speaking in Siem Reap province as part of