Ranariddh To Attend F’pec Meeting Saturday

Funcinpec President Prince Nor­o­dom Ranariddh is scheduled to re­turn to Cambodia Friday and preside over a party gathering Saturday that 1,000 royalist members are ex­pected to attend, Funcinpec Deputy Sec­retary-General Mam Bun Neang said Wednesday.

Party Secretary-General Nhiek Bun Chhay confirmed that the em­battled prince is scheduled to preside over the meeting at Funcinpec head­quarters.

“Prince Norodom Ranariddh will talk with the party members,” Mam Bun Neang said, adding that the prince will then visit party supporters in the provinces.

No date has been set for the prince to leave Cambodia again, he added. Prince Ranariddh left the coun­try Aug 25, one week after he re­turned to Cambodia following a five-month absence.

Mam Bun Neang said the prince has nothing to fear from a new law outlawing adultery, which the Na­tion­al Assembly voted in Friday. Sev­eral political observers have said the law was intended to create further strife for the Funcinpec president. Royalist officials say the prince, who remains married to Princess Ma­rie, is in a long-term relationship with classical dancer Ouk Phalla.

Government spokesman and In­form­ation Minister Khieu Kanharith said Funcinpec government officials are free to attend the ceremony on their day off work. “It doesn’t matter as it is Saturday,” he said.

Last month, Prime Minister Hun Sen warned provincial royalist officials that they would be fired if they came to Phnom Penh to welcome back the prince at party headquarters.

Khieu Kanharith also said the prince does not need to fear legal ac­tion under the adultery law, as Princ­ess Marie has not filed a complaint against him.

Funcinpec lawmaker Princess Sisowath Santa said she was un­aware of Prince Ranariddh’s plan­ned return, but added that he should reflect on the new adultery leg­islation. “I think [Prince Ran­a­riddh] is just one of the individuals who will have to think about his private life,” the princess said.

“It is a time for all families to think about it.” (Additional reporting by James Welsh)

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