Sirivudh To Stay; Opposition Deputy Is Out

Funcinpec issued a statement on Tuesday denying any plans to re­place its secretary-general, while the Sam Rainsy Party an­nounced its own deputy leader will step down.

Funcinpec’s information committee Director Chea Chanboribo wrote that royalist party Sec­re­tary-General Prince Norodom Si­ri­vudh will not be replaced by the party leader’s half-brother Prince Norodom Chakrapong, as reported Tuesday in local Khmer-language newspaper Rasmei Kam­pu­chea Daily.

“We would like to deny that there is any reshuffle of the secretary-general now and in the future,” he said in the statement.                         “Funcinpec needs only Prince Norodom Sirivudh to be the secretary-general, because he always tries his best to serve the party,” he added.

Noranarith Anandayath, Cab­inet chief to Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh, said that reports of a party shuffle were groundless.

“I don’t know the reason” for the claim, he said Tuesday.

Prince Sirivudh was known to be a close friend of opposition leader Sam Rainsy before Fun­cin­pec formed a coalition government with the CPP in July.

He has since become co-Min­is­ter of the Interior, heading one of the most powerful ministries in the government, and has not been seen in public with Sam Rain­sy since the breakup of Fun­cin­pec and the Sam Rainsy Party’s Al­liance of Democrats.

On Tuesday, the Sam Rainsy Party’s Deputy Secretary-General Meng Rita said opposition Sec­re­tary-General Eng Chhay Eang will step down from his position in 2006 to open the post to other candidates in the party.

“Eng Chhay Eang said that he wants a new person to replace him to ensure a democratic pro­cess in the party,” Meng Rita said. He did not say who the contenders for his position would be.

Eng Chhay Eang has been the party’s secretary-general since it formed in 1998.


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