Prince Thomico Plans Petition Asking Assembly To Disband

Prince Sisowath Thomico Thurs­day called on the National As­sembly to dissolve itself and hand power over to retired King Noro­dom Sihanouk.

Prince Thomico said he plans to circ­ulate a petition calling for the move, inspired by recent statements of Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh. Dur­ing speeches this week, Prince Ra­n­a­riddh called on the retired king to save the nation.

Prince Ranariddh in Kompong Chhnang Thursday urged nationalists, democrats and royalists to unite, adding: “If our King Father is happy to lead the movement, Funcinpec supports him…. The whole Khmer nation is waiting for the King Father.”

Prince Thomico’s newly formed political party, the Sangkum Jatiniyum Party, “solemnly announces complete support for the stance,” the party said in a statement.

“I will contact the Sam Rainsy Party tomorrow,” and ask them to support a petition offering complete power to the retired King, Prince Thomico said by telephone.

He said that, combined, Funcinpec and the SRP would have 50 votes in the Assembly, which he said would be about 14 short of the 64 needed to bring down the government with a vote of no confidence.

Prince Ranariddh’s public affairs adviser Ok Socheat said the prince had not seen Prince Thomico’s request, but was attemp­ting to unite the nation himself.

“If the prince cannot unite all political parties, he would ask the King Father to do so,” he said.

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said Cambodia is stable and that there is no reason for the Assembly to strip confidence from the government.

SRP lawmaker Son Chhay said Prince Thomico’s statements should be taken with a pinch of salt.

“I doubt what he says means anything…. I think he is starting to make some strange comments to attract people,” he said.

In recent postings on his Web site, Norodom Sihanouk has distanced himself from Prince Thom­ico and Funcinpec.

(Additional reporting by Douglas Gillison)

 

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