For the second year in a row, Funcinpec will postpone its annual party congress in Phnom Penh this month in favor of smaller celebrations across the country marking the royalists’ 23rd anniversary, party officials said Thursday.
The congress, initially scheduled for March 20 through March 23, will be postponed indefinitely, said Funcinpec Deputy Secretary-General Ok Socheat, citing the ongoing government deadlock and financial constraints.
“The problem is we could not solve any problems [by holding] the congress right now,” he said, adding that the party’s strategy to navigate the nearly eight-month long deadlock lay in the hands of its steering committee members.
“If we make a congress, it is very difficult and also very expensive,” Ok Socheat said.
Last year, Funcinpec called off its congress in Phnom Penh and hosted smaller meetings throughout the country instead, in a bid to save money for its campaign leading up to the July national election.
A congress this year was anticipated to rally support behind the party’s Alliance of Democrats with the Sam Rainsy Party and the Alliance’s demand that the winning CPP include all three parties in a new government.
Instead of a congress, the party will hold an anniversary ceremony on March 21 in Phnom Penh, as well as smaller ceremonies in each province and municipality, said Chhim Seak Leng, deputy secretary-general of Funcinpec.
“The president [Prince Ranariddh] understands that the situation right now is not finished so we’d better postpone the congress,” said Kong Vibol, Funcinpec’s secretary of state to the Finance Ministry, on Thursday.