Statement Blasts F’pec Leaders, Calls for Party To Be Renamed

An anonymous statement purportedly written by Funcinpec supporters was e-mailed to media outlets on Tuesday, accusing top party of­ficials of being puppets of Prime Min­ister Hun Sen and calling for the party to be renamed after Prince Nor­odom Ranariddh.

The statement, which was e-mailed by an unidentified individual and also faxed out by the Ministry of In­formation, accused Funcinpec Sec­retary-General Nhiek Bun Chhay and Minister of Rural De­vel­op­ment Lu Laysreng of being Hun Sen’s minions, alleging that they had helped the CPP to remove Fun­cin­pec officials.

“We are the people who struggle for the real royalists, and support Sam­dech Party President to change the Funcinpec party to Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh Party,” the statement declares.

It adds that the authors of the statement will reveal their identities when the party changes its name.

Lu Laysreng said he was too sick to speak to a reporter, and Nhiek Bun Chhay was reportedly outside the country and could not be reach­ed for comment.

Funcinpec spokesman Nouv So­vathero said the anonymous statement had been concocted by enemies of Funcinpec to spread internal division, though he admitted that Fun­cinpec had asked the Ministry of In­formation to disseminate the text to the media.

Funcinpec asked the Ministry of In­formation’s media center to fax the statement to the press because the royalist party does not have a fax ma­chine, Nouv Sovathero said, add­ing that the party’s decision to spread the statement was due to re­quests from the media.

“They should be ashamed,” he said of the statement’s authors.

“Prince Norodom Ranariddh never mentioned changing the name,” he added.

Government spokesman and In­formation Minister Khieu Kanharith said the statement might have been sent out by Funcinpec officials trying to test public opinion about a pos­sible change of name.

Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang said the statement indicates a rift inside Funcinpec.

“The party has no leadership. It is losing control,” he said.




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