Mistress Rumors Won’t Hurt F’pec: Lawmaker

Rumors of alleged love affairs will not damage the royalist party or the reputation of National Assembly Presi­dent Prince Norodom Rana­riddh, a Funcinpec lawmaker said Tues­­day.

One day after popular Cambo­dian starlet Duch Sophea, 20, moved to quash speculation that she was romantically involved with the prince, Funcinpec lawmaker Monh Sophan said such rumors were the private concern of individuals.

“This is a private matter of an in­di­vidual. It doesn’t affect working efficiency,” Monh Sophan said in a telephone interview.

Prince Ranariddh is Funcinpec’s president and those who support the party still back him, Monh So­phan added.

Prince Ranariddh left the first Na­tional Assembly session of 2006 on Tuesday morning without speaking to reporters.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Hun Sen continued his verbal campaign against adulterous government officials, whom he did not name but ac­cused of lavishing money on their mis­tresses and allowing them to dic­tate government ap­point­ments.

Duch Sophea said Monday that rumors of her romantic entanglement were false and that they had put her reputation and life at risk.

Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang, who resigned from his position as opposition secretary-general in December because of a gambling problem, said that the public thinks poorly of gallivanting government officials.

“It would affect [their] political in­flu­ence. The public focuses on the pub­lic figure,” Eng Chhay Eang said.

In the past, royal family members have often taken many wives, but it is probably time that this tradition changed, said Hang Puthea, direc­tor of the Neutral and Im­par­tial Committee for Free Elec­tions in Cambodia.

“A husband should only have one wife,” Hang Puthea said, add­ing that an official with mistresses is more likely to lapse into corrupt be­ha­vior to support them, and would be less able to fulfill his professional du­ties. “When a person has many wives, he needs a lot of material and budget to support the wives.”


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