Merry-Making Marks Halt in Political Infighting

Even if just for one night, Fun­cin­pec officials danced, sang and ex­changed bouquets of flowers to celebrate the end of political infighting at a joyful three-hour bash Sun­day evening, officials said.

The party was held at the home of Prince Norodom Sirivudh in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district, said Chea Chanboribo, spokesman for Funcinpec President Prince No­ro­dom Ranariddh.

Before the festivities began at 7 pm, the more than 60 people in at­tendance elected a 59-member ex­ec­utive board and unanimously re-elected Secretary-General Nhiek Bun Chhay, Chea Chanboribo said.

Prince Ranariddh kicked up his heels and danced and sang songs composed by retired King Noro­dom Sihanouk, while Serei Kosal and Nhiek Bun Chhay exchanged flowers and sang and danced together, he added.

“Nhiek Bun Chhay and I hugged each other,” Serei Kosal said Mon­day.

“We ended the previous disputes. Prince Norodom Ranariddh was happy after we promised to compromise,” he added.

Prince Sirivudh played the piano and was accompanied by Chea Chan­boribo on lead guitar, Chea Chanboribo said.

Nhiek Bun Chhay’s re-election would eliminate any suspicion that he had divided loyalties, he said, adding that the celebrations demonstrated that the party’s internal disputes were over.

Koul Panha, executive director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elec­tions, said Funcinpec needed more serious discussion and less gaiety.

There are currently two factions within the party, said Koul Panha. One is seeking to stay in the governing coalition and another wants to leave it in order to oppose the wholesale sacking of Funcinpec government officials, he said.



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