Prince Norodom Ranariddh has formed a 27-member administrative group to take care of his day-to-day affairs and bring a lawsuit against Funcinpec Secretary-General Nhiek Bun Chhay, officials said Wednesday.
Called the Royal Office of Samdech Krom Preah, the group was formed Sunday to take care of the prince’s administrative, legal and diplomatic duties, said Nuth Nin Doeun, office deputy chief.
“We had our first meeting to organize our administration since Prince Norodom Ranariddh was ousted at the congress [on Oct 18],” Nuth Nin Doeun said.
The office is headed by former Education Ministry secretary of state Pok Than, and former senior minister Serei Kosal, both of whom, along with former secretary of state for the Ministry of Tourism Nuth Nin Doeun, were recently fired from their government positions.
Ok Socheat, public affairs adviser to Prince Ranariddh, said the new office is needed to fight against the prince’s ousting and to prepare for his return to Cambodia in coming weeks.
Ok Socheat said the office’s lawyers will file a lawsuit today against Nhiek Bun Chhay accusing him of deceiving Funcinpec members by changing a commune election meeting to a congressional meeting to vote the prince out of office.
“We try to show the people that the justice system over here could provide justice for Prince Ranariddh, the son of the [retired] King,” Ok Socheat said.
Nhiek Bun Chhay said Prince Ranariddh is free to do as he chooses. “I have no reaction,” he said.
Nouv Sovathero, Funcinpec’s new spokesman, said he was not concerned by the proposed lawsuit and new office.“Our congress and party has appointed a new president on Oct 18 and both the CPP and the SRP recognize our party,” he said.
“If the congress was illegal then why did the president of the CPP Samdech Chea Sim and his excellency Sam Rainsy, president of the SRP, write letters to welcome our congress and our new president?”
(Additional reporting by James Welsh)