Hun Sen’s Dismissals Dumbfound F’pec Officials

Several Senior Funcinpec officials ex­pressed confusion Wednesday over Prime Minister Hun Sen’s re­quest to the National Assembly to re­move and replace them with oth­er Funcinpec officials.

Education Ministry Secretary of State Pok Than said the decision to re­move him was politically motivated, and probably came from within his own party.

Funcinpec President Prince Noro­dom Ranariddh picked him for the position, he added.

“The prime minister said he’s not go­ing to deal with Prince Ranariddh, he’s going to deal with [Funcinpec Secretary-General] Nhiek Bun Chhay,” Pok Than said. “I think the list [of removals] was prepared by Nhiek Bun Chhay and approved by the prime minister,” he added.

Nhiek Bun Chhay declined comment on whether he was responsible for the removal of his colleagues.

Senior Funcinpec Minister Serei Ko­sal said that he was unsure who de­cided to remove him and reiterated the party’s concern that Hun Send did not consult Prince Rana­riddh about the shuffle.

Hun Sen’s unilateral move violated a contract with the prince and any­one who acquiesced in the plan “is not a Funcinpec official,” Serei Ko­sal said.

“It is a violation of Funcin­pec’s internal rules and contract between the prince and prime minister,” he added.

Ly Tuch, who is replacing Serei Kosal, said that Hun Sen had the right to make changes in the government. “I think the prime minister also shared his decision with the sec­retary-general [Nhiek Bun Chhay],” Ly Tuch said.

Chea Chanboribo, Funcinpec Secretary of State for the Ministry of Information, said that he had already returned his government license plates and would leave his position with a clear conscience and clean hands.

“I brought no government prop­erty with me,” he said. “I would rath­er keep my name clean than keep millions of dollars and kilo­grams of gold in my account.”

Nguon Nhil, the CPP’s first vice-pres­ident of the National Assembly, said that no date had been set for the Assembly vote to remove the 10 Funcinpec secretaries of state and re­place them with other royalist party officials.


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