F’pec Seeks Control of Two Key Ministries

Funcinpec needs control of at least two “important” ministries in order to be effective in the next gov­ernment, party President Prince Norodom Ranariddh said Monday.

The prince said he hopes that Funcinpec will have two ministers heading the Ministries of Interior, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Defense or Justice.

“We have to talk about the importance of ministries rather than the quantity” when discussing a future power-sharing agreement with the CPP, he told reporters outside the National Assembly.

“For example, if the CPP provides us two [of those five ministries], we will agree to that responsibility,” the prince said.

Funcinpec most recently proposed a 50-50 power-sharing agreement to join a new coalition government and end the prolonged political deadlock. The CPP rejected that proposal and balked at the royalists’ demands, which include a 50 percent quota of civil servants.

The CPP has proposed a 60-40 split that would give the ruling party control over all five major ministries named by the prince. CPP spokesman Khieu Kanha­rith repeated Monday that Fun­cinpec’s proposal was unacceptable but declined to comment on the prince’s remarks.

After high-level talks early this month, Prime Minister Hun Sen and the prince said they were fast heading toward a resolution of the deadlock after agreeing on the final points of a government policy platform, but talks over power-sharing and lucrative ministry positions thus far have been thorny. Acknowledging the impasse, Prince Ranariddh backed off earlier predictions that the deadlock could be resolved this month.

“It’s impossible,” he said, ad­ding that he hoped for a resolution before the one-year anniversary of the July 27 polls.

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