New Funcinpec Post for Prince Chakrapong

Prince Norodom Chakrapong, who on several occasions quit Fun­c­inpec and was once implicated in an alleged coup attempt, has now been appointed to the newly created position of “general in­spector” of the royalist party, Fun­cinpec officials said Sunday.

Chhim Seak Leng, the party’s de­­­­puty secretary-general, said Prince Chakrapong’s new post was established “to help strengthen the party.”

Since the prince rejoined Fun­­­c­inpec following the 2003 elections, he has received much support with­in the party and has met with no opposition to his new ap­point­ment, Chhim Seak Leng said.

“We are united, faithful and love each other,” he said.

Chhim Seak Leng said the ap­pointment was ordered by party Pres­ident Prince Norodom Rana­riddh.

Funcinpec spokesman Chea Chanboribo agreed Sunday that Prince Chakrapong’s return to a high-level position within the party was a sign of party unity.

“This unity would gather royalists’ votes together as only one royalist party,” he said.

Prince Chakrapong, the half-brot­her of Prince Ranariddh, split from Funcinpec before the 1993 national election.

He was ac­cused—together with Sin Sen, then the Ministry of Inter­ior secretary of state, and former interior minister Sin Song—of plot­ting a failed coup in 1994 to top­ple the govern­ment of then-co-prime ministers Prince Ranariddh and Hun Sen.

Prince Chakrapong went into ex­­­ile after being accused but was later granted a pardon by his father, retired King Nor­o­dom Si­hanouk.

He returned to Cambodia to re­join Funcinpec, only to quit again to form his own royalist party, the Noro­dom Chakrapong Praleung Khmer party, ahead of the 2003 election.

The party won no seats in the election, and the prince again re­turned to Funcinpec.

In a statement last week, Chea Chan­boribo denied a report in the Khmer-language press that Prince Chakrapong was replacing Prince Norodom Sirivudh, currently Func­inpec’s secretary-general, as well as the co-Minister of Interior and a deputy prime minister.

“We announce that the article is com­pletely not true,” Chea Chan­boribo wrote on May 10. “So far there is no sign of a plan to re­move Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary-General Prince Noro­dom Sirivudh.”


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