Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh Tuesday promised a full-scale restructuring of the party on all levels, in hopes that smoother internal functioning and the restoration of hope among members will lead to a better showing in the 2003 national election.
The prince said he discussed the plan with Funcinpec Secretary General Prince Norodom Sirivudh, and the proposal will be approved “no later than a few days after the Khmer New Year.”
“The Funcinpec Party hierarchy needs to be restructured from the general secretariat right to the bottom,” Prince Ranariddh said. “The reform of Funcinpec is not only about appeasing one side or the other, but rather an entire restructuring.”
Many party members are being accused of corruption and nepotism. A party official said that under the proposed shake-up, Funcinpec will offer active, responsible people top positions in the new hierarchy.
Asked by reporters if co-Minister of Interior You Hockry, the subject of recent controversy within Funcinpec, will be asked to step down, and if anyone is being considered as You Hockry’s replacement, Prince Ranariddh said: “We don’t know if You Hockry will step down or not.”
But Prince Ranariddh added that You Hockry’s fate depends largely on whether he can explain why he did not give party leaders a list of suspected members of the Cambodian Freedom Fighters in his possession that names many Funcinpec leaders, including Prince Sirivudh.
“If he can’t solve the problem by making sure the party officials are removed from the list, I will take action,” Prince Ranariddh said.
Regarding the CFF list, the prince said he trusts the word of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who assured him that Funcinpec members are not in trouble because they are on the list.
The prince said he received the same assurance from National Police Director General Hok Lundy.
At last Thursday’s Funcinpec congress, Prince Ranariddh said his party members should be more outspoken when they oppose the actions of the CPP.