Thomico Says CPP Has Plans To Remove Monarchy

Prince Sisowath Thomico laun­ched the political platform for his Sang­kum Jatiniyum Front Party on Thur­sday, and accused the ruling CPP of planning to remove the mo­nar­chy to consolidate its grip on power.

Speaking to more than 100 supporters at the party’s Tuol Kok district offices, Prince Thomico said the fledgling SJF aims to free Cambodia and the royal family from the government’s clutches.

“The ruling party is planning to overthrow the monarchy,” Prince Thomico claimed. “The CPP’s ob­jec­tive is to consolidate complete po­wer in order to return the country to the State of Cambodia and the Republic of Cambodia,” he ad­ded. “Our party’s objective is to libe­ra­te the country.”

He also claimed that plans are afoot for schools and hospitals built during retired King’s Norodom Si­ha­nouk’s pre-war governments to be demolished.

Prince Thomico then accused the government of clamping down on freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly. “Our coun­try has no law. The­re is only power,” he declared.

He also said that he hopes ousted Funcinpec President Prince No­ro­dom Ranariddh will join the SJF, and that if he does, he can adopt a leadership position.

“We have almost succeeded in building a royalist movement. When Prince Norodom Rana­riddh joins with us, we will succeed,” he said.

Government spokesman and CPP Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said Hun Sen respects the King, and that the government has protected the achievements of the Sangkum Reastr Niyum. “Inde­pen­dence Monu­ment is close to Hun Sen’s house,” Khieu Kan­ha­rith noted.

“Some royal family members are stu­pid. We respect the royal family,” he said. “The royal family members have destroyed themselves.”

Prince Ranariddh’s public affairs adviser Ok Socheat said it was too ear­ly to say whether the prince would accept Prince Tho­mi­co’s in­vi­tation.

Hang Puthea, director of Neu­tral and Impartial Com­mi­ttee for Free Ele­ctions in Cam­bo­dia, said he does not believe the CPP wants to scrap the mo­nar­chy.

But he added: “There is a ten­den­cy within the CPP to push royal family members not be in­vol­ved in politics.”


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