A new royalist political party founded by former Funcinpec general Nhek Bun Chhay has been approved by the Interior Ministry and will hold its inaugural congress later this month, he said at a press conference at his house on Friday.
Although the event was ostensibly held to inform the public about his new political venture, which he has dubbed the Khmer National United Party, Mr. Bun Chhay spent much of his time criticizing Funcinpec and its leader, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, his former boss and current nemesis.
Mr. Bun Chhay was forced this week to change the logo he proposed to use for his new party, which was nearly identical to a logo formerly used by Funcinpec, after Prince Ranariddh complained to the Interior Ministry.
On Friday, he conceded that he would change the logo, but said it was a shame that the prince had let the image fall out of use.
“I saw that [Prince Ranariddh] had abandoned the old logo of Independence Monument that was the heritage of the late king, so we all decided to retake it to use for the new Khmer National United Party because we want to maintain what we think they have forgotten,” he said.
Despite his attachment to the old logo, Mr. Bun Chhay said he had already come up with a new emblem: a crown and two sheaves of rice, rendered in yellow and blue.
Mr. Bun Chhay also suggested that his party would try to take over some of Funcinpec’s provincial offices, claiming that around 10 of them were privately owned by people such as himself and Keo Puth Reasmey, the former head of Funcinpec.
“Not all the offices were created and led by Samdech Krom Preah [Prince Ranariddh],” he said.
“If Samdech Krom Preah and others around him want to take the offices, a lawsuit cannot be avoided.”
Funcinpec officials could not be reached for comment.