Funcinpec will use the monarchy and the popular image of King Norodom Sihanouk to defeat other parties in the upcoming local elections, Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh said Saturday.
The prince unveiled the party’s platform to about 1,000 supporters at a party youth seminar. His two-hour lecture was broadcast on radio station FM 90.
The only political platform the party needs is constitutional monarchy, the prince said.
“The only politically concrete basis for the future is monarchy. Our party represents monarchy at its best. We represent a royalist party that is different from the others. We brought back the constitutional monarchy and advanced monarchy in the nation,” he said, adding that Cambodia must remain a monarchy forever because that is what its people want.
The Angkor temples that Cambodians are so proud of were built by a king, the prince said, and the ancient achievements of China and France were also the product of monarchies.
The prince indirectly accused Funcinpec’s rivals of not wholeheartedly supporting the theory of monarchy. “Some [other parties] like the theory of communism, but they won’t say so because it’s an outdated term. I won’t say who it is,” he said, alluding to the formerly communist CPP.
“Some [other parties] are republican. The Sam Rainsy Party is a republican party. Sam Rainsy’s objective is to destroy the monarchy as his father, Sam Sary, did.”
The King accused Sam Sary, then Cambodian ambassador to Britain, of treason in the 1960s.
Funcinpec is “the only legitimate son of His Majesty,” Prince Ranariddh said.
The King is, by law, politically neutral, but parties routinely try to associate themselves with him because he is widely popular, especially among rural peasants, many of them illiterate, who know his image from posters.
In the past, Prime Minister Hun Sen has called himself the “foster son” and Senate President Chea Sim has called himself the “foster brother” of the King in an attempt to link themselves and the CPP to the King.