You Hockry, Ranariddh Discuss Party Dispute

Internal fighting has weakened Funcinpec and is the result of a lack of communication between party factions, party President Prince Norodom Ranariddh admitted Tuesday.

One Funcinpec faction, led by RCAF Deputy Commander-in-Chief Khan Savoeun and Minis­ter of Information Lu Laysreng, has been campaigning for the removal of co-Minister of Interior You Hockry, whom they accuse of corruption and nepotism.

About 1,000 former Funcinpec fighters petitioned the party to fire You Hockry last month.

Prince Ranariddh said he met with You Hockry Monday and gave him a hearing. “As for the accusations and questions that I received from Excellency Khan Savoeun, You Hockry has really answered them and provided evidence,” he said.

The prince, speaking at the National Assembly after an unrelated meeting, said he would mediate the dispute. “I will invite both groups to meet and talk closely to find a solution,” he said.

Prince Ranariddh said he will meet today with Khan Savoeun, Lu Laysreng and Kieng Vang, secretary of state for the Ministry of Interior. “I am very sorry to see that [party officials] speak to each other so rarely,” the prince said. “If we are in the same party and we rarely talk to each other, it is a real difficulty.”

The infighting distracts Funcin­pec from rebuilding itself, the prince said. “I hope that we can find the way to a compromise, because what we really need is…to reform and strengthen our Funcinpec party in the local areas where we have 1 million supporters,” he said.

Funcinpec fared badly in the Feb 3 commune council elections, winning 10 of 1,621 communes, prompting loyalists to call for overhauling the party.


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