Phnom Penh Municipal Court dropped the case of ousted members of the royalist Funcinpec party who filed a lawsuit against the party last month to demand their memberships be reinstated.
Seng Haksrun, former deputy secretary-general of Funcinpec, said yesterday the municipal court dropped the charge on Funcinpec at the beginning of this month, claiming it was not under their jurisdiction.
“I think the accusation against me and some other officials, this action will cause the party to dissolve itself,” said Mr Haksrun.
On February 12, the ousted Funcinpec members filed a lawsuit to the municipal court to demand the court to issue an injunction to reinstate their party memberships.
In January, seven people were stripped of their party membership without explanation including Mr Haksrun, Mr Ravy, Nop Phon, Meach Samroul, Pheap Pheach, Kan Vuthy and Suong Phally.
Their dismissals came after an intra-party conflict that centred on a petition to fire deputy party president Por Bun Sreu and secretary-general Yim Savy.
Action was taken after the petition went public. Addressed to Prince Ranariddh, it accused the two of nepotism and an inability to lead the party.
Funcinpec spokesman Nhep Bunchin said the court had its laws and this was the court’s decision.
“Their complaint was not correct,” said Mr Bunchin, declining to speak in detail.
Last month, Mr Bunchin said party president Prince Norodom Ranariddh stripped their membership because they had broken the party’s internal rules and compromised the party’s reputation.
Kim Ravy, former working group leader of Funcinpec in Siem Reap province and personal adviser to Prince Ranariddh, declined to comment yesterday, saying he was busy in a meeting.
On February 14, Mr Ravy said he filed the complaint to the municipal court because the party did not seem to care about their dismissal.
“We did not have a resolution, so we had to take the next step,” he said. “We wanted to solve the problem internally but we didn’t believe them.”
“We demanded the court to issue an injunction to reinstate our party memberships because it was an injustice for us,” Mr Ravy added.
He said he had endured years of struggle within the party and spent tens of thousands of dollars of his own money only to be fired from the party.
“We want justice because we have not made any mistakes,” he said. “We struggled for many years without any encouragement but advantages were provided to other people.”
Speaking after a National Assembly meeting on February 14, Prince Ranariddh said it was not his decision to dismiss the members, but he did sign the dismissal letter because he didn’t want intra-party conflict.
“If people have a problem, it must be solved internally. Please don’t bring it to the court because it is against party rules,” he said.
“Anyone who wants to file a complaint, it is their right,” he added. “I do not want them to disagree with each other. If we agree with each other it’s good.”