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Funcinpec signals Ranariddh’s return

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
Prince Norodom Ranariddh. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Prince Norodom Ranariddh will soon join his party’s upcoming election campaign upon his recovery from a fatal car crash that claimed the life of his wife and left him hospitalised in Thailand, Funcinpec party officials said yesterday.

Party spokesman Nhep Bunchin said yesterday that Prince Ranariddh has almost fully recovered from the accident and is going to be ready to join the party’s campaign, though he did not specify exactly when he would join. The campaign period for all parties begins on Saturday.

“Prince Norodom Ranariddh will return to join the election campaign soon,” Mr Bunchin said, adding that he will not join party officials in the field, but instead work behind the scenes to secure National Assembly seats in the upcoming election.

Party vice president You Hockry said yesterday that the party will hold a strategic meeting on Thursday morning at a hotel in Phnom Penh without party president Prince Ranariddh.

“The party will begin campaigning on Saturday and we will gather in Chroy Changva district’s Chroy Changva commune,” Mr Hockry said.

Prince Ranariddh has been receiving treatment at a hospital in Thailand since the crash last month, which killed his wife Ouk Phalla.

The pair were travelling to Preah Sihanouk province along National Road 4 when a taxi driver crossed into their lane and smashed into their vehicle head-on.

Mr Hockry said that the party has hired a lawyer to investigate the traffic accident and any information gathered during the investigation will be handed personally to the Prince.

In the wake of the crash, the party floated the idea that it may not have been accidental, a theory quickly dismissed by the National Police.

In a press conference, deputy chief of the National Police General Him Yan said the taxi driver was carrying six passengers while speeding to overtake a vehicle along National Road 4.

Mil Saret, the taxi driver, was subsequently placed under arrest while in hospital and then jailed on charges of careless driving causing injury and death. He remains in jail pending trial.

The National Police concluded that the taxi was overloaded, making the vehicle difficult to control, and that its driver was being careless while overtaking the other vehicle.

The crash marked the third accident for the Prince in the past five years.

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