Funcinpec Secretary-General Prince Norodom Sirivudh will order co-Minister of Interior You Hockry to resign from his post at the ministry as well as from his position in the party, members from the Funcinpec Steering Committee said Sunday.
Prince Norodom Ranariddh also reportedly signed two letters—one to You Hockry and another to Prime Minister Hun Sen—informing both about the upcoming firing.
Although Prince Sirivudh will request Monday that You Hockry be ousted from his ministerial posting and position as “dean” of the Funcinpec Steering Committee, he will be allowed to retain his position as a member of parliament, the officials said.
“If he is obstinate to leave and he wants to see the evidence against him, all the Steering Committee members will show him the evidence against him and will allow him to ask questions [regarding the firing],” a committee official said Sunday.
Since March, high-ranking Funcinpec officials and at least 1,000 former Funcinpec resistance fighters have sought to oust You Hockry, accusing him of practicing nepotism and corruption. In early May, a majority of Funcinpec Steering Committee members signed an order to fire You Hockry from his position as co-Minister of Interior.
You Hockry, however, previously defended himself, saying that he spoke to several Funcinpec members who allegedly signed the order. The members told him they did not sign the order, fueling speculation that the petition to oust him may have been faked. He also requested that members of the party give a reason for his firing.
Although an official Sunday reported that Prince Ranariddh signed a letter informing You Hockry about his ousting, the prince on Friday said the firing will take a long time because the petition to fire You Hockry must be re-written.
The prince also said the firing of You Hockry is taking a long time because “we need to study the regulations…. I don’t want my decision to be accused of being personal.”
Speaking Friday after a National Assembly debate, Prince Ranariddh said he had not seen the petition to oust You Hockry, adding “now the petitions are to be re-written to avoid allegations of being fake.”
So far, no replacement for You Hockry has been announced. But one Funcinpec source said the list of candidates to replace You Hockry as co-Minister of Interior includes Nhiek Bun Chhay, vice chair for the Senate, and RCAF Deputy Commander-in-Chief Khan Savoeun.
The firing of You Hockry comes amid an anticipated reshuffling of key Funcinpec postings, including positions at the provincial level. Some have speculated that the shake-up is a result of the party’s weak showing during the commune elections.