Upbeat Sirivudh Vows to Rebuild Funcinpec

Nobody in Funcinpec is bla­ming Prince Norodom Sirivudh for the party’s disappointing showing in the commune council elections.

Insiders say the party’s secretary-general has worked hard since returning to Funcinpec last July, and during post-election meetings he has refused to be downhearted.

“Give me better smiles, please,” he said Tuesday to a group of colleagues still dejected at the Sam Rainsy Party’s surprisingly strong showing.

“We are [still] No 2, so we are better than we were before, when we had nothing,” Prince Sirivudh said. Funcinpec will win next year, he vowed. “I have to rebuild the [political] army.”

Funcinpec members say the party’s problems date back years. One member who did not want to be identified said many party leaders were not very energetic before Sirivudh’s return—and some used their government positions to enrich themselves illegally.

Another problem might have been that Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Party both chose candidates who were popular in their com­munes, but did not necessarily have strong management skills.

“This could be one of the main reasons we lost in the elec­tion,” said Has Piseth, deputy di­rector of the party’s election committee. “People want representatives they believe are capable and ex­perienced to lead their communes.”

He said Funcinpec had as­sumed that after 20 years of CPP rule, people would automatically want new leadership. It was an assumption that proved to be false.

Has Piseth agreed with other Funcinpec officials, including party President Prince Norodom Ranariddh, who say the CPP illegally bought votes and distributed gifts before the election.

Prince Ranariddh, who flew to France on Monday, said before he left that he was hesitant to give anything to any voters other than the very old or handicapped, for fear of being suspected of vote buying.

Prince Sirivudh made his comments at the start of a five-day seminar on council management for 61 Funcinpec members, in­cluding five new commune council members. The seminar is sponsored by the Konrad Ade­nauer Foundation.

The Funcinpec trainees will teach what they learn to council members in all 24 provinces. Nay Doeum, 48, first deputy chief for Trapaing Chorng commune in Pur­sat province, said he can’t wait.

“It is very important that we know about council management,” he said. “I will use this know­ledge to train people all over the province.” right now, no tourists since the checkpoint closed. we have no road for tourists to get there. we hpe the road construction will be used in this year

So mara was accepting the money before; we have been receiving money for about 2 moths. one month, 30,000-40,000 baht.



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