A second group of Funcinpec members are leaving the royalist party and creating another party because they are “not happy” with Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh, said Hang Dara, founder of the new party.
Titled the Hang Dara Movement Democracy Party, the party submitted an application for official formation of the party to the Ministry of Interior on May 27, less than one week after convicted coup leader and former exile Prince Norodom Chakrapong announced that he, too, would break away from Funcinpec and start a new royalist party.
“We are not happy with Ranariddh’s leading and for what he has promised to people in the 1993 and 1998 elections and has not returned to the people,” Hang Dara said Sunday. “[Funcinpec supporters] are jobless and most have spent a lot of money for the party’s campaigning during the last election—what they got back was ignorance, abandonment and joblessness.”
Hang Dara said the purpose of the Hang Dara Movement Democracy Party is to fight against illegal immigration, corruption, confiscation of Cambodian land along its borders and instability within the society.
He claimed Sunday to have more than 200,000 members throughout the country and “I expect I will receive at least 20 seats in the 2003 general elections.”
Minister of Information and longtime Funcinpec member Lu Laysreng said Sunday that he didn’t know Hang Dara—a comment repeated by Funcinpec Deputy Secretary-General Serey Kosal.
“I don’t know him,” Serey Kosal said Sunday.
Funcinpec has continued to face problems since its poor showing in the February commune elections. In March, 1,000 Funcinpec resistance fighters began a campaign to remove co-Minister of Interior You Hockry from his post at the ministry, accusing him of corruption and nepotism.
In May, Prince Ranariddh agreed to support the removal, although the National Assembly must choose a replacement before You Hockry will step down.