Ranariddh Withdraws You Hockry From Post

The months-long battle over co-Minister of Interior You Hock­ry’s position in the government and Funcinpec took a decisive turn Thursday afternoon as Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh told You Hockry in person that he had been fired from his ministerial position.

“I talked with Prince Ranariddh a long time about the problem of the [Funcinpec] Steering Com­mittee letter asking me to resign,” You Hockry said “I did not re­sign…. The prince withdrew me, which is better than resigning.”

You Hockry said Thursday he accepted the prince’s decision, but would wait until a permanent replacement is selected by the National Assembly before he vacates his post. Some Funcinpec members had previously talked about selecting an acting co-minister of interior—a procedure that would allow the party to bypass parliament and could leave the acting minister in place until next year’s national elections.

Two-thirds of the assembly must approve a new, permanent co-minister, You Hockry said. The prince will send a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen about finding a permanent co-minister, You Hockry said. “I am still co-minister until there is a spare part,” he added. Prince Rana­riddh’s decision came after an almost two-hour- long meeting at the prince’s Kien Svay district home in Kandal province. The climate of the meeting was de­scribed by You Hockry as “un­der­standing” and “respectful.”

You Hockry said he will remain a member of the National As­sembly and keep his high-ranking position on the Funcinpec Steering Committee.

Two RCAF generals, who are also top Funcinpec members, expressed satisfaction over the prince’s move. “[You Hockry] had no choice to stay as co-minister,” one said.

At least 1,000 former resistance fighters alleged in mid-March that You Hockry was guilty of corruption and nepotism, and demanded his ouster. Since then, the party’s steering committee gathered a majority of signatures for an order to fire You Hockry.

On Wednesday, more than 2,000 You Hockry supporters were bused into the capital to dem­onstrate at Funcinpec headquarters.


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