At least 46 members of Funcinpec’s steering committee signed an order Monday to fire co-Minister of Interior You Hockry from his position as minister and from his Funcinpec membership, a high-ranking Funcinpec official said.
The order, signed by 46 out of 62 Funcinpec steering committee members, will be delivered to Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh Thursday for the prince’s approval, the official said.
No officials have announced who will replace You Hockry.
The remaining 16 members who did not sign the order were “too busy in their missions overseas” to vote, the official said. The official added that all steering members will be called Thursday afternoon to finalize the order.
“We are going ahead [with the removal of You Hockry],” the official said. “[You Hockry’s removal] will be good for competition in the upcoming national elections when we compete with other parties,” the official said.
The official said the steering committee members will also discuss Thursday the reshuffling of Funcinpec secretaries of state, undersecretaries of state, governors and deputy governors. The official, however, did not provide details or identify any of the Funcinpec officials to be moved.
The move to oust You Hockry came in mid-March, after more than 300 Funcinpec police and military officials demanded the co-minister of interior be fired for nepotism and corruption.
Some have speculated that the Funcinpec reshuffle came about after the party’s poor performance in the Feb 3 commune elections.
Although no officials have formally said who will replace You Hockry, Funcinpec members last week discussed unofficially who should replace the Interior Ministry head.
One member mentioned that Khek Vandy, a top Funcinpec official and husband of Princess Norodom Bopi Devi, should replace him.
In a closed-door meeting with top Funcinpec members recently, however, a party official said, “Khek Vandy is not suitable for this position. If Khek Vandy is in this position, the party will still be [in the same troubled] position.”
Previously, officials unofficially suggested that RCAF Deputy Commander-in-Chief Khan Savoeun, who led the move to fire You Hockry, should replace him as co-minister of interior.
At the closed-door meeting, the officials said, “they need a real Funcinpec resistance fighter and strong one,” but Khan Savoeun was not mentioned at the meeting.
Khan Savoeun declined to comment last week on the suggestion that he be made co-minister of interior.