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Fired Funcinpec officials argue with leadership

Funcinpec leader Prince Norodom Ranariddh speaks at a party congress in September.
Funcinpec leader Prince Norodom Ranariddh speaks at a party congress in September. Heng Chivoan

Fired Funcinpec officials argue with leadership

A group of dismissed Funcinpec officials has exchanged barbs with party leadership after filing a lawsuit for their reinstatement earlier this month, stating yesterday that if party leader Prince Norodom Ranarridh does not change tack the party would slide into irrelevance once more.

Meach Samroul, Kan Vudthy, Soung Phally, Kim Ravy, Nop Phorn and Seng Haksrun – along with Pheap Pheach, who did not sign the legal complaint – were dismissed after Haksrun requested that two other senior officials be booted from the party for nepotism. In response, Ranariddh dismissed Haksrun and the six others.

Samroul, a former personal assistant of the Prince, bemoaned the “financial and emotional sacrifice” for the party of the dismissed officials and said he feared that Funcinpec would fragment if the Prince continued “believing those bad officials who incited and flattered him”.

Kim Ravy warned the party would “win zero seats” in the upcoming election if it did not reform.

“The rottenness already affects [the party] at a local level, [officials] try to lie to the Prince and cheat him,” he said, adding that Funcinpec should learn from the Cambodian People’s Party’s organisational structure.

“They know how many members they have but we have not even thought about our local structure,” he said.

Funcinpec had already virtually lapsed into irrelevance until it was given a second life through the dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party. After the CNRP was dissolved, 41 of its National Assembly seats were handed over to the party.

On Wednesday Ranarridh said the complaint should be resolved internally and not in court, insisting “there is no disunity.”

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay suggested the rift exposed deeper problems within the party. “There cannot peace and order in any organization whenever its leadership has no strong moral authority,” he said.

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