Son Sann to Resign BLDP Presidency Saturday

Son Sann will officially offer his resignation from the presidency of his faction of the BLDP at a congress Saturday, but his wing of the party will be free to use his name in its title, the octogenarian politician said Wednesday.

Arriving after a year away from his homeland, Son Sann said he had already written to the party’s directors to inform them of his decision but said he would make his retirement official at Satur­day’s congress.

“I will ask the National Con­gress to relieve me of the presidency,” he said, adding that he had no objections to a decision by his BLDP compatriots to rename the faction the “Son Sann Party” to compete in the scheduled July polls.

“Everyone knows my name, the old, the young,” he said. “Why prevent my name being used?”

Son Sann’s BLDP faction lost a protracted court battle over the party name with another faction of the party led by Ieng Mouly. But party members said they still plan to take the case to the Su­preme Court. Information Minis­ter Ieng Mouly broke away from the party in 1995, taking four other BLDP parliamentarians with him to form a working alli­ance with the CPP.

Legal experts said Wednesday they could see no barrier to naming the party after a former president who is no longer a leader. Son Sann is resigning from the party presidency to allow him to take up his position on the as-yet unformed Consti­tutional Council, to which King Norodom Siha­nouk appointed him in 1996. (Catherine Philp)

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