F’pec Moves Headquarters ‘In State of Suffering’

Funcinpec moved further into the political twilight this week when party officials began relocating from their longtime headquarters near the French Em­bassy to rented offices at a former medical clinic on Norodom Boulevard.

Monks prayed and musicians beat drums on Monday evening as officials uprooted a statue of retired King Norodom Sihanouk from the spacious grounds of Funcinpec’s former compound and transported it to the Royal Palace, officials said.

Funcinpec Secretary-General Nhiek Bun Chhay said Wednes­day that Ly Chhuong, son-in-law of prominent CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap, now has complete ownership of the royalist party’s headquarters.

“We are leaving in a state of suffering,” Funcinpec spokesman Nouv Sovathero said. “We cannot take back the current headquarters because Prince Norodom Rana­riddh already sold it,” he said.

Norodom Sihanouk and King Norodom Sihamoni have agreed to store the retired King’s statue at the palace, Nhiek Bun Chhay said. The party decided not to keep the statue because it has no place to put it, he added.

Nhiek Bun Chhay said the party is paying $4,000 a month in rent for the new headquarters, which was formerly the Taiwa­nese-owned Jean Ay clinic and on Wednesday still bore an “Emer­gency Center” sign on the its bright blue-colored exterior wall.

Ly Chhuong was overseas on Wednesday and a member of staff at his company, Ly Chhuong Con­struc­tion Import Export Co, Ltd, said the firm has no immediate plans for what to do with its new pro­perty next to the French Embassy.

Muth Channtha, spokesman for the Norodom Ranariddh Par­ty, said the move was Funcin­pec’s death knell.

“Funcinpec cannot grow any bigger. Funcinpec is finished politically,” he said.


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